DIRECTOR OF FOREST SARAWAK & ORS v. NICHOLAS MUJAH ASON & ORS

[2020] 1 MLRA 1

DIRECTOR OF FOREST SARAWAK & ORS v. NICHOLAS MUJAH ASON & ORS
Federal Court, Kuching
Ahmad Maarop PCA, Zaharah Ibrahim CJM, Alizatul Khair Osman Khairuddin, Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim, Nallini Pathmanathan FCJJ
[Civil Appeal No: 01(f)-30-06-2017(Q)]
18 October 2019

JUDGMENT

Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim FCJ:

Preliminary

[1] This judgment is prepared pursuant to s 78(1) of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964, as Justice Zaharah Ibrahim CJM has since retired. My learned brother Ahmad Haji Maarop PCA, my learned sister Justice Alizatul Khair Osman Khairuddin FCJ and my learned sister Justice Nallini Pathmanathan FCJ had read this judgment in draft and all of them agreed that this judgment be our judgment.

Brief Facts Of The Case

[2] The plaintiffs are all natives by race, ie Ibans from three different villages within the town of Simunjan, Sarawak.

[3] Hock Tong Hin Sawmill Co Bhd ("the 1st defendant") is a licensed timber company that was granted a concession area for the extraction of timber under license no: T/5090 ("the said Concession Area").

[4] Roundtree Timber Sdn Bhd ("the 2nd defendant") is the contractor of the 1st defendant in carrying out and/or felling and extracting merchantable timber logs including the felling and extracting the logs within the specified concession area.

[5] The plaintiffs claim that at all material times, they are the rightful owners, claimants, of a Communal Forest Reserved land situated at/or along Sungai Sebangan, Simunjan, Sarawak.

[6] On or about January 2006, the plaintiffs discovered that the 1st and 2nd defendants and/or their employees or agents or servants had trespassed their lands by building a railway track to carry out logging activities over part of their said lands causing some serious damage to the environment, namely loss of timber and polluting the river system.

[7] Sometime in February 2006, a complaint was lodged with the District Officer Simunjan on the encroachment of a logging activity within the said lands but no action was taken. The 1st and 2nd defendants refused to negotiate with the plaintiffs on the ground that the plaintiffs have no right over the said land claimed by the plaintiffs.

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