SEREMBAN – The customs of Negeri Sembilan must have a written constitution in the respective customs district or ‘luak’ to facilitate the appointment of the custom head of a luak.
Malaysian Government Socio-Cultural adviser Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim said, currently, only the Luak Rembau has a written constitution which is based on the writings of C W C Parr and W H Mackerry in 1910.
“We must learn a lesson from the Rembau customary law. As such, the Jelebu, Johol and Sungai Ujong districts should by right have their own constitutions,” he said.
He said this after delivering a keynote address at the 2015 One-Day Adat Perpatih Conference organised by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP), National Heritage Foundation and the Department of Arts and Culture here, today.
He said the respective heads of customs must respect Clause 4 of the Constitution of Negeri Sembilan 1959 and the Provision 160 of the Federal Constitution on customs.
“…and this must be done. Otherwise, the problem of the customs in Negeri Sembilan will become a major social problem in the future and may lose the respect of society.
“The question is..the heads of customs who are one of the customary rulers in their respective luak will lose their authority and allure to the community because they are not seen to be functioning and carrying out their duty such as to explain the power and functions of the customs in the community,” he said.
Rais said customs in Negeri Sembilan are not recorded in permanent writing.
He said it was sourced and based only on customary words, proverbs and examples and also an unofficial system of appointing and terminating of a head of customs. – BERNAMA