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State Gov’t wants time to list ‘Sabah Bumi’ category

 | November 15, 2015

The Federal Government wants the “Sabah Bumiputera” category in official forms.

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KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Government has asked Putrajaya for time to come up with a list of ethnic groups which can be included in the “Sabah Bumiputera” category for purposes of official forms. Sabah Secretary Sukarti Wakiman said that the state government was still working on the listing which would be separate from the Anak Negeri Sabah (Sabah Native) category in official forms. “It’s the Federal Government which wants the Sabah Bumiputera category in official forms.”

“We are still working on it (the listing),” said Sukarti. “We are getting input from all relevant departments including the National Registration Department (NRD).”

“Sabah Natives want to be classified separately from others as their position is stated in the Federal and state Constitutions.”

Sukarti added that the listing exercise follows the Cabinet’s decision to approve a new format for official forms based also on recommendations by the Cabinet Technical Committee headed jointly by Maximus Jonity Ongkili (Sabah) and Douglas Uggah Embas (Sarawak).

Bukan Bumiputera (not Bumiputera) is the third category in official government forms.

All three categories replace the previous lain-lain (others) category in official forms in Sabah. In Sarawak, the term Dayak replaces the lain-lain category.

It’s not known who will make up the Bukan Bumiputera category in Sabah. The Indians, Chinese and Malays are already listed separately in official forms. It’s only the lain-lain category that’s being dropped and replaced by one category for Sarawak and three for Sabah.

At the moment, the law states that the Dusunic and Murutic Groupings in Sabah, sub-groups of the larger Dayak Grouping in Borneo, are Orang Asal (Native) in Sabah.

The Bajau and Suluk, two major groups, are recognised as Bumiputera by a government policy decision.

The Bugis, recent comers in Sabah, are not recognised as Bumiputera and have been demanding the status for years but to no avail. They argue that the Bugis in the peninsula have been accorded Bumiputera status by the Federal Government.

The NRD generally lists people in Sabah by their ethnic classifications , Kadazan, Dusun, and Murut while Muslim Orang Asal are listed as Bisaya, Orang Sungei and Dusun. Muslim groups may be Bajau, Suluk, and Bugis, while smaller Muslim groups are the Barunai (Brunei Malay), Irranun, Cocos Keeling and the like. There’s no Malay category in Sabah.

There may be as many as 42 other ethnic groups in Sabah, including 33 indigenous sub-ethnic groups, aside from Indian and Chinese. Sarawak has 40 sub-ethnic groups, according to the NRD listing, excluding Indians and Chinese.


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