Sarawak Native status not a given, needs to be applied for, says Sharifah Hasidah

Sharifah Hasidah speaks to reporters after launching the charity at the Juma’ani Pavilion here today. – Photo by Roystein Emmor

KUCHING (Sept 19): Native status has never been automatically granted to those born from inter-marriage between a Sarawakian Native and non-Native, said Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali.

The Deputy Minister in the Sarawak Premier’s Office (Law, MA63 and State-Federal Relations) said all this while, the individuals concerned would have to apply to the Native Court of Sarawak to be recognised as such.

“Any child born into inter-marriage between a Native of Sarawak and a non-Native is not (automatically) Native. He or she has to apply for it if they wish to be recognised as a Native of Sarawak.

“Prior to the (upcoming) enforcement of the Interpretation (Amendment) Ordinance 2022, such child had to apply before the Native Court of Sarawak to be deemed as a Native, under the Native Courts Ordinance 1992 and its rules,” she told The Borneo Post today.

She added that even with the Interpretation (Amendment) Ordinance 2022 coming into force this Nov 1, application for Native status will still have to be made, with the forms for those wishing to apply available at district offices at a fee of RM100 each.

At a press conference here earlier today, Sharifah Hasidah said the Sarawak government will establish a committee headed by State Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki to consider the applications.

She said from Nov 1, 2023, children of mixed parentage can own Native land and have Native (Bumiputera/Pribumi) status recognition for entry into public universities or tertiary institutions.

The amendment also would resolve the predicaments of those having their Native status questioned or those not previously recognised as Native by the government, she added.

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