Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Filipinos, Indonesians and Singaporeans not recognized as natives

Posted by Smookiekins On 5/28/2013 09:02:00 AM
The Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the presence of illegal immigrants in Sabah was told that the Interpretation (Definition of Native) Ordinance had listed Filipinos, Indonesians and Singporeans as ‘native’ to Sabah.


Kudat district chief Harun Bidin, when replying to Commissioner Tan Sri Herman Luping yesterday, said that Sabah Cap. 64 of the Interpretation Ordinance had yet to be amended to remove the three nationalities.

He, however, stressed that although there had been no review to the Ordinance, Filipinos, Indonesians and Singaporeans are not recognized as natives of this country.

Harun was replying to Luping who asked if Filipinos, Singaporeans and Indonesians are still natives of Malaysia as they are included in the interpretation of natives by the North Borneo Legislative Council.

Harun, who is the 89th witness called to give a statement before the Royal Commission of Inquiry panel, said that there are more than 32 ethnic groups in Sabah which are recognized as natives and among them are the Suluks of Sabah.

“There are Suluks who are of Sabah origin and Suluks from the Philippines. We recognize the former as natives but not those from the Philippines,” he explained.

To Luping’s further question if the issue of reviewing the interpretation or repealing that particular section in the Ordinance was ever discussed at the biennial Sabah Customary Chiefs Conference, Harun said, “No”
.
“It is a good idea and we have never discussed it but I will suggest it in the next conference,” he said.
Meanwhile to a question from Datuk John Sikayun, who is holding a watching brief for Sabah Law Association, on whether the Sabah Customary Chiefs had asked the State Government to review its ban on the issuance of the Sijil Anak Negeri (Native Certificate), Harun said they would do it but pointed out that the decision would be made by a higher authority.

To Sikayun’s question on how the Customary Chiefs would be able to ascertain if a Sijil Anak Negeri was authentic or fake, Harun said he had come across a couple of the Native Certificates which had discrepancies.

“Because of the discrepancies like not being endorsed by the right people, these certificates will be considered as ‘fake’ but we have to confirm the document as original as it was issued during the time before the ban.

“However, these are isolated cases and will be referred to the District Chief for further action,” he said, adding that he had yet to come across a fake Sijil Anak Negeri.

Meanwhile, when asked by Conducting Officer Jamil Arrifin for his opinion on what can be done for the immigrants’ children born in Sabah but are unable to get an education because they do not have the proper identification documents, Harun said that every human has a right to be given education.

“My opinion is that every human has a right to education. If they fail then it is out of our jurisdiction. As it is, there is a lot of street children around and I leave it to the relevant authorities, like the Welfare Department to address,” he said.


Source: Borneo Post


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