Friday, June 24, 2011

DUN (Day Three): Baru speaks up for mixed marriages' offspring, Berawans and Sabans

Posted on June 24, 2011, Friday

THE uncertainty over the racial status of children of mixed marriages between Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera must be resolved as soon as possible as it affects the rights of the children.

Raising this issue during the motion to debate Head of State Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Muhammad Salahuddin speech, Baru Bian (PKR-Ba?Kelalan) in his maiden speech pointed out that such problems did not arise in Peninsular Malaysia.

"In the peninsula, there is an option to register children of mixed marriages as either Bumiputera or non-Bumiputera. It seems that our brothers and sisters there have it better than us here in East Malaysia," said Baru.
Baru pointed that in Sarawak, unless both parents were native, the children were not deemed native or Bumiputera but this ruling did not seem to apply to everyone.

"If for administrative purposes, children of mixed marriages in Sarawak are considered Bumiputera, then it begs the question: why is it that in the Marina Udau's case, the girl who was initially
denied entry into tertiary education was not recognised as Bumiputera?"

"Amendment should be made to the definition of natives in the Federal and State Constitution and the Interpretation Ordinance to include any children of a mixed marriage," he stressed.

On similar note, Baru also brought up the issue of Berawans and Sabans who lived in the northern region of Sarawak who are not classified as natives under the Article 161A (7) of the Federal Constitution.

"Both Berawans and Sabans are not classified as natives by the Federal Constitution yet but anthropologists and ethnologists will tell you that the Berawans are arguably the first ethnic group to migrate into the northern region of Sarawak many centuries ago."

Baru later on urged the State Attorney General (SAG) to look into this matter and take immediate steps to amend the State and Federal Constitutions and other relevant laws to include the Berawans and Sabans in the list of Bumiputeras.

Baru also expressed his happiness as the Flying Doctors services had resume after a lull due to contractual problems.

"This is important even how infrequent it may be, to alleviate the medical problems in the rural areas."

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