By COBBOLD JOHN
COMMENT: The recent appeal made by the orang asal of Saban and Lakiput origins with regards to their ethnic status not being recognized as Bumiputera comes as a surprise to the Dayak communities in Sarawak.
With the neglected issue of the native indigenous communities in Sarawak, where recognition as “lain-lain” for the past 54 years, instead of a proper term, i.e., like Dayak, or Orang Asal, etc, seems not enough. This issue highlighted by Saban and Lakiput of not being acknowledged under the status bumiputera was truly unexpected at all until it was published in the local media.
All this while, the Dayak native indigenous communities in Sarawak, always thought that being recognized under the government’s racial ethnicity of “lain-lain”, eventually natives are supposedly to be recognized under bumiputera status. It is a known fact that the Dayak native indigenous communities in Sarawak are very big, regardless whether such native ethnic race are a majority or not.
We feel that the government has failed the Dayak communities on this particular terms of racial description and the doubtful status of also to be known as Bumiputera.
This is what Parti Bansa DAYAK Sarawak BARU (PBDSB) is fighting to voice out and press the Sarawak State government to resolve the issue once and for all.
It seems like that the circumstances of such recognition has relentlessly proved disadvantages to certain Dayak native indigenous minorities, as proven and highlighted by the Saban and Lakiput.
This is why it is important to have the right voice in the State Assembly and Parliament representing the native people to voice out such issues and agendas, especially for native indigenous communities, with much agenda still left unresolved, ie, NCR, stateless, education, ethnicity racial status, etc.
Since now promises of rights for Sarawak are to be returned to Sarawak, it is of utmost importance that the State government look into the agenda of the natives indigenous people of Sarawak.
There’s certainly a lot of catching up to do since the article 150 had been lifted, PBDSB opined Sarawak government to do their part soon as possible because all the issues are piling up more and more, for every delay made to resolved the issues.
- Cobbold John is president of Parti Bangsa Dayak Sarawak Baru