No place for Ibans and Bidayuhs in Sarawak

No place for Ibans and Bidayuhs in Sarawak
Wed, 25 Aug 2010 06:00
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By Maclean Patrick
http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/fmt-english/images/stories/iban.jpg

COMMENT The American Indians are considered a nation within a nation. Ask and they will refer to themselves as being part of the American Indian Nation. They have customary rights over tracts of land and can govern and set up businesses to finance their own reservations. Interestingly, the American Indian Nation is composed of a collection of distinct tribes, states and ethnic groups, many of whom are intact political communities. Various bills and laws are in effect to protect the indigenous peoples of North America living within the confines of the 50 states that make up the United States of America. Though they are proud of their ethnic heritage, collectively they are known as American Indians.

This is America. Often times demonised by Malaysia, yet it is still civilised enough to safeguard the rights of the people living within its boundaries.

This is Sarawak, where Ibans and Bidayuhs are not recognised as citizens, let alone as natives of Sarawak.

Don’t believe me? The following is taken from the Federal Constitution:

Article 161a of the Federal Constitution

In this Article native means:

(a) in relation to Sarawak, a person who is a citizen and either belongs to one of the races specified in Clause (7) as indigenous to the State or is a mixed blood deriving exclusively from those races;

(b) in relation to Sabah, a person who is a citizen, is the child or grandchild of a person of a race indigenous to Sabah, and was born (whether on or after Malaysia Day or not) either in Sabah or to a father domiciled in Sabah at the time of the birth.

Clause (7)

(7) The races to be treated for the purposes of the definition of native in clause (6) as indigenous to Sarawak are the Bukitans, Bisayahs, Dusuns, Sea Dayaks, Land Dayaks, Kadayans, Kelabit, Kayans, Kenyahs (including Sekapans, Kejamans, Lahanans, Punans, Tanjongs dan Kanowits), Lugats, Lisums, Malays, Melanaus, Muruts, Penans, Sians, Tagals, Tabuns and Ukits.

There is no mention of Ibans or Bidayuh(s). In fact, Iban(s) are classified as Sea Dayaks and the Bidayuh(s) are classified as Land Dayaks. Keep this distinction in mind.

Fast forward to the present day.

An amendment was made to the Sarawak Interpretation Ordinance 2004, which in effect declassified the word Dayak. Thus, the terms Sea Dayaks and Land Dayaks do not have nor hold any meaning whatsoever. And in a stroke of pure idiocy by the august house (the State Legislative Assembly) of Sarawak, two native groups were wiped off the face of the earth – at least in the reading of the Federal Constitution. Two ethnic groups are now rendered non-existent.

With that, the Sea Dayaks and Land Dayaks lose all rights within Sarawak. In one stroke, the Sea Dayaks and Land Dayaks are a nameless entity; we are worse off than the American Indians. It would have been better for the Sea Dayaks and the Land Dayaks to go the way of the Dodo – extinction merits a mention in the history books. But the Sea Dayaks and Land Dayaks are very much alive and form the majority ethnic groups in Sarawak.

How then can a majority group like the Ibans and Bidayuhs be rendered helplessly non-existent in their native land?

Entity without a nation

I am an Iban, my parents are both Ibans and I can trace my ancestry to the early Iban migration up the Kepuas river into Sarawak; and this reading of the rules of the land of Malaysia has rendered me an entity without a nation. And this disaster does not just befell me but the generations after me.

Where then do I stand as a legal citizen of Malaysia? What claims to citizenship can I make since I am effectively unknown in the eyes of the Federal Consitution? It is impossible to imagine a citizen who is not recognised as a citizen of the land upon which he/she was born. So what am I? What manner of logic did the Dayak leaders, voted into office by the Dayak people, use to rationalise and support the declassification of the term Dayak?

If we were to go along with the logic of allowing the right for one to claim his own ethnic identity, thus in declassifying the Dayak term, the Federal Constitution should have also been amended in order to reflect the use of the more specific Iban and Bidayuh term. But no amendment was made to the Federal Constitution to insert the specific term Iban and Bidayuh to replace the now defunct Sea Dayak and Land Dayak terms.

The implications of the amendment to the Sarawak Interpretation Ordinance 2004 are clearly visible and telling if it is read along with the interpretation used by the Student Intake Management Division, Higher Learning Department and Higher Education Ministry to classify what constitute a Bumiputera. This definition is used to vet the suitability of Sarawakian students for entry into institutions of higher learning. It was promptly used in the incident where 17-year-old Marina Undau was deemed not eligible for entry into a matriculation programme because she was not a Bumiputera.

Their definition is as follows:

If either parent of a candidate is a Malay who is a Muslim/Orang Asli as defined in Article 160 (2) of the Federal Constitution, the child is considered a Bumiputera.

Sabah If the father of the candidate is a Malay who is a Muslim/native of Sabah as defined by Article 161A(6)(a) of the Federal Constitution, the child is considered a Bumiputera.

Sarawak If the father and mother are natives of Sarawak as defined under Article 161A(6)(b) of the Federal Constitution, the child is considered a Bumiputera.

Take this definition and read it against the Federal Constitution and the amended Sarawak Interpretation Ordinance 2004 and Ibans and Bidayuhs are classified non-Bumiputera.

Why?

In order to be a Bumiputera, you must first be a native of Sarawak. But according to the amended Sarawak Interpretation Ordinance 2004, Ibans and Bidayuhs are not natives of Sarawak.

This is a clear case of a government that has failed to look into the welfare of the people living within its borders. Instead, it is a government that has robbed a living group of peoples their identity, their rights, and ultimately their dignity. I hope the elected leaders of Sarawak are proud of what they have done; because I am sure not.

Maclean Patrick, a webmaster in Kuching, is a contributor to FreeMalaysiaToday.

Email us your comments to comment@freemalaysiatoday.com

source: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/fmt-english/opinion/comment/9603-no-place-for-ibans-and-bidayuhs-in-sarawak

[quote=“gorshan”]
Sarawak If the father and mother are natives of Sarawak as defined under Article 161A(6)(b) of the Federal Constitution, the child is considered a Bumiputera.

Take this definition and read it against the Federal Constitution and the amended Sarawak Interpretation Ordinance 2004 and Ibans and Bidayuhs are classified non-Bumiputera.

Why?

In order to be a Bumiputera, you must first be a native of Sarawak. But according to the amended Sarawak Interpretation Ordinance 2004, Ibans and Bidayuhs are not natives of Sarawak.[/quote]
errrrr…i thought after the amended Sarawak Interpretation Ordinance 2004, the Iban & Bidayuhs are recognised as Sarawak native?? Before the 2004 amendment, the Iban were known as Sea Dayak, the Bidayuh were known as Land Dayak and the Lun Bawang were known as Murut. which ordinance is this fella refering to? my statemement is based on ‘Sarawak Interpretation Ordinance Cap. 1’. correct me if im wrong in this matter as it can be veryyy misleading.

y would u like to post something so sensitive like this? :x Don kno wats ur motive but if u just post it bcoz u receive it from a friend and can not verify it.Pls don post it.Watever ur definiton on the word ‘native’, the meaning of the word is just too subjective…ur subject already provoke the Iban n Bidayuh…if u r bored n hav plenty of time…pls la…i think u better go fishing rather than writing these kind of thing…

dear fadly_robin, i read the article on the website http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/fmt-english/opinion/comment/9603-no-place-for-ibans-and-bidayuhs-in-sarawak. the article is written by a native sarawakian Maclean Patrick and posted on the above website. i reposted it here on http://www.miricommunity.net as i believe it is article of interest for fellow sarawakian to read , digest and ponder. any unhappiness should be directed at the writer of the article and the website it is initially posted on. [url=comment@freemalaysiatoday.com]comment@freemalaysiatoday.com

so sorry if your feeling is hurt. i suggest you write to Malaysian Minister of Information, Communications and Culture Dato Rais Yatim on his personal website http://www.dasury.com/feedback.php to get this guy ISAed.

and no, there is no ulterior motive on my part as i am not a member of any political parties, ngo.s and whatevers. i dont go fishing as i hate eating fish. i would leave it to admin to decide whether the issue is too sensitive and should be removed a.s.a.p.

iban iban iban iban iban iban iban iban iban iban iban iban

its either maclean patrick (who claimed himself as a sarawak native-iban) is totally wasnt aware of the amended Sarawak Interpretation Ordinance 2004 or is totally being ignorance on the amended ordinance. i do understand the anger in his post but please lahhhh ucakkkk check the facts first. urang bukai medak/maca utai baka tuk, kumai bangsa kitai tuk belik, emo ndak tentu pasal. legik urang ngumai - study high high, stupid never finish. enti kak ngebelik ke urang anang mai kami ka ‘innocent’ tuk. tauk nyebut nama kedirik jak ilak.

instead of highlighting the native issue (iban & bidayuh) and relate it to the amended ordinance of which totally ‘digging his own grave’, tauk ka highlight issue nama kabuah perintah kitai tuk (state government) nadai kiruh, nadai capoh, nadai inggar, nadai nyabak, nadai nganuk on why the federal constitution ulih overwrite the state constitution especially on the native rights? ukai double standard nyak kah?

Dear Goshan,

the fishing part n the boring part is not address to u bro. Sorry if i hav confuse u of my reply.

"if u r bored n hav plenty of time…pls la…i think u better go fishing rather than writing these kind of thing…"this one is for the writer of the article. Tats y in my reply i use the word post n write.U post the article, the maclean patrick write it.

My reply doesnt represent all the iban nor the bidayuh in sarawak. it is just my own personal comment. I am a bit sensitive with the subject of ur post bcoz for me it is easily misinterpret by other n might lead to negative thinking. But that is not a big issue coz its only my personal point of view.

Like u said, the article was written by other. I dont totally blame u for posting it. Well Malaysia is a democratic country after all. We can say anything n write anything. There are so many brilliant writer out there with infinity idea. They wil always write n continuously doin it anywhere n anytime.Nobody can do anything to the writer of this kind of article.Not until it become a political issue.

We r just a curious forumer who like to comment, voice out our opinion n defend ourselves if we think we need to do it. So for u who might hav misinterpret my reply. Peace no war.

[quote=“fadly_robin”]Dear Goshan,

the fishing part n the boring part is not address to u bro. Sorry if i hav confuse u of my reply.

"if u r bored n hav plenty of time…pls la…i think u better go fishing rather than writing these kind of thing…"this one is for the writer of the article. Tats y in my reply i use the word post n write.U post the article, the maclean patrick write it.

My reply doesnt represent all the iban nor the bidayuh in sarawak. it is just my own personal comment. I am a bit sensitive with the subject of ur post bcoz for me it is easily misinterpret by other n might lead to negative thinking. But that is not a big issue coz its only my personal point of view.

Like u said, the article was written by other. I dont totally blame u for posting it. Well Malaysia is a democratic country after all. We can say anything n write anything. There are so many brilliant writer out there with infinity idea. They wil always write n continuously doin it anywhere n anytime.Nobody can do anything to the writer of this kind of article.Not until it become a political issue.

We r just a curious forumer who like to comment, voice out our opinion n defend ourselves if we think we need to do it. So for u who might hav misinterpret my reply. Peace no war.[/quote]

2nd u…thats the problem in mc.net nowadays…some forumer like to highlight sensitive issue that can provoke…

ladybird i love u…hehe…love ur answer…

and no, there is no ulterior motive on my part as i am not a member of any political parties, ngo.s and whatevers. i dont go fishing as i hate eating fish. i would leave it to admin to decide whether the issue is too sensitive and should be removed a.s.a.p.

Wheres the admin? Calling out for MCnet Admins… yoohoo…

2nd u…thats the problem in mc.net nowadays…some forumer like to highlight sensitive issue that can provoke…

I fully agree with you. It’s also about negative issues… never about positive actions and occurrences. Very discouraging. Does this negativity reflect the mentality of Mirians?

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/fmt-english/images/stories/iban.jpg
akai…kelalu gak dik tu Ucak, ngintik tua aram :lol:

[quote=“Faelane”]

2nd u…thats the problem in mc.net nowadays…some forumer like to highlight sensitive issue that can provoke…

I fully agree with you. It’s also about negative issues… never about positive actions and occurrences. Very discouraging. Does this negativity reflect the mentality of Mirians?[/quote]

tats the problem…i afraid ppl out there will thinking that our mirian are typical like this… :oops: :oops:

ive noticed this AGES ago. thats why i cant be bothered anymore. like when they always highlight abt the war and terrorism by muslims etc around the world, but no one ever highlighted the child molester priests. just saying.

[quote=“Faelane”]

and no, there is no ulterior motive on my part as i am not a member of any political parties, ngo.s and whatevers. i dont go fishing as i hate eating fish. i would leave it to admin to decide whether the issue is too sensitive and should be removed a.s.a.p.

Wheres the admin? Calling out for MCnet Admins… yoohoo…[/quote]

Am still here. Does anyone have the official distributed copy of the said “Federal Constitution” and “Sarawak Interpretation Ordinance 2004” (either in Bahasa or English) to cross check on the claims in the article? It may be on wikipedia, but the contents there may be inaccurate (if any).

kaban, there’s a thin fine line between race and religion issue.

and the topic is all about race, not religion issue. 8)

The writer’s name seems familiar to me…

have to say i m agree with iamkroll. i thought i m the only one who thougt so

It’s about 2 sets of official-&-hard-to-find documents (at least for me). If anyone knows where to find it from official source, please share the link. 8)

Such topics normally comes around during political season, and believe me a huge chunk of it gets deleted - with this included if it gets out of hand.

well… the author do have sumthin in mind, as i recall, fmt always have an issue condemning gov, as how prime media condemn opposition… btw… dats just me