Cannot be natives of two countries: SAPP
Published on: Sunday, February 03, 2019


Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) said the proposal by no less than the State Native Affairs Minister to seek native status for foreign descendants from Indonesia should not be taken lightly as it encroaches into the indigenous rights of original Sabahan natives.

Its Deputy President cum Treasurer General Japiril Suhaiman said in a statement that if it gets implemented, the State Government would be breaching in its duty to protect the rights of natives in Sabah. 

“To recognise them as natives is also breaching of fiduciary duties of the State to protect the interest of the Natives of Sabah according to the Sabah constitution. If they want native status…they can always go back to Indonesia where they are naturally accorded such status.

“If length of stay is the criteria to be natives, then there will be a whole lot of Indians, Chinese and others who have also resided in Sabah during pre-independence seeking to qualify.

“How can the Java and Bugis be indigenous when they migrated from neighbouring Indonesia?” he asked.

Non-governmental organisation Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS) said the Government can review the Interpretation (Definition of Native) Ordinance if it wants to, but must never amend anything concerning who is classified as a native.

“We have no objection if the government wants to review, but what is already enshrined in the Constitution must be respected. Nothing must ever be amended,” said its Vice President Paul Kadau. He insisted that a native is a person who belongs to an indigenous community in Sabah. - Mail Mathew


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