DAP collecting information of other cases of Ibans and other natives of Sarawak and Sabah denied rights as bumiputras in Peninsular Malaysia whether to purchase bumiputra housing or in award of scholarships


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Bintulu, Friday): The DAP Legal Panel to Defend the Constitutional Rights of natives of Sarawak and Sabah is now collecting information of other cases of Ibans, Kayans, Kenyahs, Bidayuhs and other natives of Sarawak and Sabah who have been denied their constitutional rights as bumiputras in Peninsular Malaysia whether to purchase bumiputra housing or in award of scholarships.

This is to enable the DAP Legal Panel to Defend the Constitutional Rights of natives of Sarawak and Sabah to prepare a legal challenge to the rejection by the Malacca State Government to register the purchase by Iban foreman, Guyang Ak Umur to buy bumiputra-allotted shoplot for RM190,931 on the ground that his status as a bumiputra is not recognised in Malacca.

Sabah Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Joseph Kurup and the Sarawak Assistant Minister for Rural Development, Datuk Gramong Juna have expressed surprise that the natives of Sarawak and Sabah had not been recognised as bumiputras in Malacca.

Are they really surprised in that they had never come across cases where the natives of Sarawak and Sabah have not been accorded the status of bumiputras in the states in Peninsular Malaysia, on the ground that their bumiputra status is only limited to Sarawak and Sabah?

It is very sad that 34 years after Sarawak and Sabah joining Malaysia, the issue as to whether the natives of these states are bumiputras of Malaysia should remain a controversy.

Article 153 of the Federal Constitution provides for the reservation of quotas in respect of public services, permits, scholarships, exhibition and other similar education or training privileges or special facilities given or accorded by the Federal Government for Malays and natives of the States of Sarawak and Sabah.

In Article 161A, Clause 7, the term "natives" of Sarawak is defined as Bukitans, Bisayahs, Dusuns, Sea Dayaks (Ibans), Land Dayaks (Bidayuhs), Kadayans, Kelabits, Kayans, Kenyahs, Kajangs, Lugats, Lisums, Malays, Melanaus, Muruts, Penans, Sians, Tagals, Tabuns and Ukits.

The DAP Legal Panel to Defend the Constitutional Rights of natives of Sarawak and Sabah has been formed to challenge the decision of the Malacca State Government to refuse to register the purchase of a bumiputra-allotted shoplot by Iban foreman, Guyang ak Umuar on the ground that the bumiputra status of an Iban is not recognised in Malacca,

The Panel, which is chaired by DAP Sarawak State Chairman and Assemblyman for Pelawan, Jason Wong and will be assisted by DAP Legal Adviser, DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Jelutong, Karpal Singh and DAP Assemblyman for Bukit Assek, Richard Wong Ho Leng, is collecting information of other cases of Ibans and natives of Sarawak and Sabah denied their bumiputra rights in Peninsular Malaysia as part of the preparation of the case.

Information could be sent by email either to the office of Parliamentary Opposition Leader, which is [email protected] or to DAP Malaysia which is [email protected] or to DAP Sarawak at [email protected] or by ordinary mail directly to the members of the DAP Legal Panel.

So far the Sarawak Attorney-General has not declared his stand on this issue. He should explain whether the Sarawak Attorney-Generalís Office is prepared to co-operate with the DAP Legal Panel to Defend the Constitutional Rights of natives of Sarawak and Sabah to uphold their constitutional rights as entrenched in the Malaysian Constitution as a fundamental condition for Sarawak and Sabah joining Malaysia.

(23/5/97)


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong