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Saturday, April 11, 2009

“Bumiputra Sabah” proposal by Johnny Mositun

I refer to Johny Mositun’s proposal (DE Thursday, April 9, 2009) that “Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS)wants the ethnic races of Sabah to be known as Bumiputera Sabah and not as "other races" (dan lain lain) in Federal Government affairs and forms”.

I am appalled by his proposal to categorize the ethnic races of Sabah to be known as such when the term “Bumiputra” is not a racial definition at all.

Let us first get this point right. The term ‘Bumiputra’ is an economic designation/description of those given special affirmative action under the New Economic Policy. It was never intended to be a description of a race but rather to differentiate the non-Bumiputra with the Bumiputras when according special privileges to the beneficiaries of the NEP. The history and reasons for this is well documented and I urge Johny Mositun to peruse through the same from the collections of books that the State Assembly should have at his disposal.

Whilst we each know our own ethnic description, we in Sabah have an even more special group general description and which description is known as the ‘Natives of Sabah’. This description ‘Native’ is defined clearly in the Interpretation (Definition of Native) Ordinance Cap 64 and is recognised in the Federal Constitution likewise. We, the Natives of Sabah have special privileges in addition to the privileges in the NEP, and that is the right to own Native Titled Lands in Sabah, our special Native Customary laws and other privileges as guaranteed by the Ordinances, Statutes and the State and Federal Constitution to which the other races like the Malays (who are Bumiputras too) are not accorded with as far as Sabah is concerned.

To dwell into this interpretation would be too long but a short reading of the ordinance will suffice to put right the proposal made by Johny Mositun.


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