PETALING JAYA: Any Sarawakian of mixed parentage may apply to be recognised as a native Sarawakian from Nov 1, a state deputy minister said.
Deputy minister in the premier’s department (law, Malaysia Agreement 1963 and federal-state relations) Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali said applications could be filed at any district office with a fee of RM100.
According to The Borneo Post, Sharifah said the Sarawak government would form a panel led by state secretary Abu Bakar Marzuki to decide on the applications.
“In line with the provisions of the Interpretation (Amendment) Ordinance 2022, the qualifying criteria is very simple.
“For any person to be recognised as a native of Sarawak, they must be a Malaysian citizen; a natural born child of a person of a race indigenous to Sarawak; and one of their parents must be a person of a race indigenous to Sarawak,” she said.
Sharifah added that being a “native” meant having Bumiputera status.
In February 2022, the Sarawak state assembly unanimously passed the Interpretation (Amendment) Bill 2022, which, among others, considers a child from a mixed marriage a native even if only one of the parents is a native.
The bill also added 12 races to the list of indigenous races in the state, namely the Bagatan, Bakong, Bemali, Berawan, Dali, Lakiput, Jatti Miriek, Narom, Sa’ban, Tatau, Tring and Vaie.