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Definition of Sabah’s native still being refined: Tangau
Published on: Thursday, October 10, 2019
By: Larry Ralon

KOTA KINABALU: The amendment to the Interpretation (Definition of Native) Ordinance (Sabah Cap. 64) is still in the process of being refined and will not be ready for tabling in the coming State Legislative Assembly sitting, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau.  

“Of course, there are a lot of views from various parties concerned. We hope it (the amendment) can be done in a comfortable environment and would be final. 

“Scientific research findings or inputs could also help in the discussion process on this amendment,” he said after officiating a symposium on the Origins of the Indigenous People of Sabah at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Wednesday.

The symposium was held in conjunction with the commemoration of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, which is celebrated around the world and marks the date of the inaugural session of the Working Group on Indigenous Population at the United Nations in 1982. 

This year’s theme is Indigenous Languages and focuses on the current situation of indigenous languages around the world. 

Defining who is native

Definition of native: Sabah looking at proposed amendment

Tangau, who is also State Trade and Industry Minister, earlier in his speech said other aspects of life such as cultural and racial identity, are equally important to be explored and discussed, particularly in the seemingly borderless world of today where the “lines on the sand” or geographical boundaries have become blurred and the movement of goods, services, technology, information, capital flow and even people from one nation to other which is becoming increasingly fluid.  

“Human migration is the movement of people from one place to another, particularly different countries, with the intention of settling temporarily or permanently in their new locations. Their presence in the host country would invariably bring about various impacts on the local scene.    

“In the long-run, large-scale migrations will weaken the home country by decreasing or changing the make-up of its population, and maybe taking over businesses and job opportunities. A worst-case scenario would be the newcomers becoming new citizens who are eventually recognised as indigenous people and equally privy to the rights of the ‘original’ indigenous people of the host country,” he said. 

He said the cultural, heritage and socio-economic impacts of migration are worrying, especially to the future existence and survival of the indigenous people in that particular host country. 

“Understanding our genesis, heritage and culture enables us to address some of the impacts of migration on the indigenous people,” said Tangau.  He also believes with the multidisciplinary approach, the symposium will be a veritable source of knowledge, awareness and understanding on the origins of the indigenous people of Sabah. 

“Let us be open to new forms of knowledge and learning for it is only when we are well-equipped intellectually and emotionally that we become strong and progressive,” he said, while congratulating the UMS and particularly the Kadazan-Dusun Chair and organising committee for their effort and commitment towards the realisation of the symposium. 



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