Friday, October 30

Is Iban a Bumiputra or not?

The Borneo Post today (29 Oct 09) carried a very interesting story of an Iban girl who failed to secure a place in the university as she was considered a non-Bumiputra. Let me produce some relevant parts of the story here:

KUCHING: Getting her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) result was the best – and the worst thing that could happen to Marina Undau.

The 18 year old science stream student of SMK Simanggang scored 9As and 1B in the SPM examination last year.

She thought she was on her way to university, especially being a Bumiputra and all, but that was not to be.

Born to an Iban father and a Chinese mother, Marina’s life was turned upside down when her application to undergo a university matriculation programme was rejected by the Ministry of Education. The Ministry determined that she is not a ‘Bumiputra’.

He dreams were crushed and in the process she lost part of her identity and the drive that that made her a top scorer. With no chance of entering university for now, Marina has started Form 6 in her old school.

Asked what she thought of everything that was happening, she replied: “What worries me is that will this happen again when I pass my STPM next year?” And what confuses Marina more is how her elder sister could further her studies in Universiti Sains Malaysia in Pulau Pinang where she is now in her second year without ever having her identity questioned.

When Marina’s application was rejected, Undau (the father) contacted the Education Ministry’s Matriculation Department in Putrajaya on June 23 and was told that her daughter was not a ‘Bumiputra’.

Dissatisfied, the father, a government servant, wrote to the ministry on July 1 and the reply he got shocked him, and it bound to challenge the identity of many Sarawakians who are born of mixed parentage.

The ministry said in a reply on July 14 that Undau’s appeal was turned down because “the candidate is categorized as non-Bumiputra (father is Iban and mother Chinese)” based on a definition used by the Student Intake Management Division, Higher Learning Department and Higher Education Ministry.

Their definition is as follows:
# Semenanjung - If either parent of a candidate is Malay who is a Muslim/Orang Asli as defined in Article 160 (2) of the Federal Constitution, the child is considered a Bumiputra.

# Sabah – If the father of the candidate is a Malay/native of Sabah as defined by Article 161a(6)(a) of the Federal Constitution, the child is considered a Bumiputra.

# Sarawak – If the father and mother is a native of Sarawak as defined under Article 161A (6)(b) of the Federal Constitution, the child is considered a Bumiputra.

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.

(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.

A spokesperson for the National Registration Department here said that in Sarawak, if a person is born to an Iban and his mother is Chinese, he is considered as an Iban according to the race of his father.

If the Higher Ministry of Education really applies the ruling as it does to Marina, then many of those having native fathers with Chinese as their mothers in Sarawak will suffer. For Marina, her status as a Bumiputra is being questioned and it is made worse by the amendment to the Sarawak Interpretation Ordinance in 2004 when the State Government banned the use of the word “Dayak” in official communication. Thus “Sea Dayak” has been changed to “Iban”, “Land Dayak” has become “Bidayuh” and “Murut” to “Lun Bawang”.

The words “Iban, Bidayuhs and Lun Bawang” are not listed in Article 161a (7) and thus they are considered as non-natives under the Federal Constitution. The legal effects of these are many and Marina when she puts her race as Iban, she is not considered as native or Bumiputra, and should not be accorded any privileges given to natives.

Even now, there are efforts to say that Ibans do not have any native customary rights over land as they are not natives according to the law due to the amendment to the Interpretation Ordinance. When the bill was passed, our Dayak elected representatives including Alfred Jabu, William Mawan, Michael Manyin and James Masing were too eager in supporting the amendment in 2004. They did not realise the legal implications.

From now on, it is advisable for Iban when filling a form asking for race, to write down “Iban (Sea Dayak)” to ensure that they are not going to be disqualified. I believe Marina could have been a victim of the doing of our elected representatives.

Since the story has been highlighted by The Borneo Post, our leaders like Jabu, Masing and Mawan should do something to help her and many others by urging the authorities to relax the conditions of entry to matriculation, etc. These students really need their help since they (ministers and our elected representatives) are walking along the corridors of power and rub shoulders with the powers that be. If they can do this, then they really help Prime Minister Najib Razak in his campaign of 1Malaysia. Otherwise the 1Malaysia is a mere lip service.

These are the issues that our Ministers – Jabu, Mawan, Masing and Manyin – should be very vocal and firm in fighting for the rights, the future and livelihood of the Dayaks rather than shouting at the top their voices on petty issues such as “cawat” “sirat” (loin clothes) or Miss Dayak Borneo pageant contest.

Don’t you think so? – The Broken Shield



Anonymous said...

What is Jabu or Masing?

Kera Belanda???<<==CLICK!

Apai Semalau said...

Racism has once again shown its ugly head in Sarawak. So what are the dayak politicians going to do about it? Refusing to come up with a clear definition of Sarawak bumi goes to show that our politicians are just not interested in our children's future and 1Malaysia is simply fit for the gabbage bin

notbumiputra said...

melayu islam bumiputra ..
other people bukan bumiputra ..

Anonymous said...

aku ngarapka bala sida menteri iban, bala YB2x ulih nulung nembiak tu..tu lah tugas kita nulung bansa diri..

de minimis said...

This type of institutionalised racism must be stopped. It is ridiculous. It is unconstitutional. It is sickening.

Anonymous said...

Surely the only non racist solution is to declare all those born in Sarawak (Malaysia) as Bumiputra, or better still do away with the term Bumiputra (and the racist baggage associated with it) altogether.
Dosen't this whole issue look like yet another way to split the people of Sarawak?

adbdin said...

This is an event where we will likely to lose our own identity.

If the father is bumiputera, then the whole chicken that he had will be bumiputera forget about the true races identity of the mother.

If the father is non bumiputera, then I will not say anything about this.

But if I am the father is bumiputera then I will lose my own identity forever coz my children will not able to carrying my motherhood identity.

Oh my god!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then what happen to our Chief Minister children and their identity since YAB Datuk Amar Puan Sri Dr Hajjah Laila Taib (Her maiden name was Lejla Chaleck) is a FOREIGNER!!!

If this is the case, all the CM children with her will be non bumi and it will be no more Melanau FOR THEM.

The truth is, this semenanjung people still doesnt learn more about sarawakian.

I wish Yayasan Sarawak will handle better for our future student for study coz they know better about our own back ground.

Go to hell with 1Malaysia, is all about bumiputera only for Malay.

Agom said...

Just within one week, the Ministry of Education has been tainted with three controversial issues which could have damaged its reputation.

The first issue was the case of Joanna Gilbert who was the victim of discrimination by the senior official of the Institute of Teachers` Education, Rajang campus. Even though she was successful in the selection process based on a standard set of criteria, she was asked to leave upon registration by the officer of the college because she was too fat to become a teacher.

The second incident was the collapse of a suspension bridge across the Kampar River in Perak which claimed three lives of pupils primary schools. Some parents hinted that the incident was due to the teachers` negligence. Tn Sri Muhyiddin, an Education Minister ordered the setting up of the committee to investigate the cause of the incident.

The last of course not the less, a bright student from a mixed marriage supposed to hold a Bumiputera status in accordance with the Federal Constitution, had her application to undergo a university matriculation programme was rejected by the Ministry of Education as the ministry interpreted her not a Bumiputera.

So Tan Sri Muhyiddin, what is the next topic for public-debate?

Anonymous said...

Even the word "Bumiputra" is not a legal term. There is nothing in the constitution. The word was coined following the May 13 racial riots and the term was used to differentiate between natives and non-natives (bumiptra and non-bumiputra)in the creation of the New Economic Policy (NEP).

Proud Sarawakian said...

Looks to me that the malayan is systematicly wiping our identity while our leaders look from the side. Did our past leaders make the mistake of joining this sad excuse of country they call "Malaysia"?

Anonymous said...

Bala YB Iban nadai namu bejako maya ba Parlimen erti takut.Nadai guna ngudi sida maya bepilih elah.Namu ulih projik ,elaun aja.Bila agi bangsa Iban mansang. Jadi bala anak kita Iban gawak di Kedai Kopi cina ,Pub,marunsai tong sampah (gabbage bin } aja.

Anonymous said...

Continuing with this "Bumi saga", maybe politicians like those dayak Yb. having non native / foreign wives would like to enlighten us on the status of their children. Apparently there are quite a few of them. Be honest, are their children bumis? If so, then its just blatant double standards! What about the children of our "beloved" CM born of a foreign mother? Are they not bumis? The answer is simply some Sarawakians are more equal than others?

Anonymous said...

A crying shame indeed. Another west malaysian scheme to make life harder for smart people.

They all fear sarawakian / sabahan with mix-ed heritage, and u know why? coz most mix-heritage people like Marina are hard working and have the best attributes of both races. hardworking and diligent from one half plus creativeness and strong will from another half of their mix-blooded heritage.

The pure blooded west malaysian fear this kind of homogeneny. they fear competition...

So my mix-blooded brother and sisters, work for to make life better for all moving forward...make sure ur vote count...

Malaysia Digest said...

1Malaysia 3Constitutions

There is one consolation though, i.e. Taib kids are NOT BUMIPUTERA lah.

Anonymous said...

Is Mahathir a Bumiputra? I heard his father was an Indian from Kerala.

Anonymous said...

Buai bala laut di Semenanjung ti ngai nerima Marina.Nama comment Anuar Ibrahim (PKR)????

Anonymous said...

Iban are the same as those who try to copy the son of the soil as they are called.This is to lay claim to this country as they are also known as 'squatters'.From the indonesian islands they came here and suddenly they try to be one of us so inorder not to be chase out they proclaim themselves as 'Bumiputras'.

The only different is the Iban eat pork so they won't like to class the Iban with the bumi. If the Iban abandon pork, they will be instant bumi.

To say Iban is not a bumi is clearly a racist.I am beginning to doubt what Najib 1malaysia meant.Instead of bringing all malaysian together, they are trying to split the population into groups.

Ibans MUST not only be on par with bumi but also receive the same treatment as the bumi. And also to achieve 1malaysia status all races MUST be treated the same.Instead of calling themselves bumi, call all human beings in this country malaysian, if they are one of our species.

Anonymous said...

Marina, bumi or not be brave and stand tall. All in the state see the hope in you, agin bumi or not.

simpangpunda said...

Is Iban a Bumiputra or not?

The answer is no no no !

Article 161a of the Federal Constitution says so.

Anonymous said...

they want us to remain stupid so they can continue to exploit our resources.

Anonymous said...

1 Malaysia
Rakyat Di bagi bagi kan warna, Pencapaian Di kuburkan ...

Unknown said...


Anonymous said...

The Malays in Semananjung are not really the real native Malays. The real Malays are mainly seafarer who lives on the coast of peninsular Malaysia and in the Riau islands. They are good navigator, so they are engaged by trade ship and so they settle in places along the main spice and sea route, like Cape Town, Somalia,Madagascar, Yemen. In 15th century as Malaysia was in the sea route for spice trade between the Arab, Indian, Persian cities and the source of spices from Indonesia, the people who came to the Peninsular are the Arabs, Persians, Indians, Indonesians traders and slaves. Some of them choose to stay or have offsprings. During that Malaysia was like a melting pot for inter-racial marriages and settlements. So you find Gujaratis, Bugis, Javanese, Achehnese, Bataks, etc. who are muslim. Today, this mix of people from many ethnic group are now referred to as Bumiputra, simply because at the time the discriminatory policy of NEP was put forward, the people who wrote the policy are the 'mixed' themselves, so the label was convenient for them. You find many of the so called bumiputra in Semanajung are with heritage from Indonesia (Jawa, bugis) or India (mamats), they are not true Malays. So does this make Marina any less bumiputra?