About time natives are recognised constitutionally

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KUCHING: The proposed amendment to the Federal Constitution to recognise the classification of natives of Sarawak has been welcomed by Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Youth chief Gerald Rentap Jabu.

“I am sure every human being is proud of their origin, especially if their ancestors are natives of Sarawak.

“To me, it is pertinent that the amendments must safeguard the rights, obligations and opportunities of the natives,” he said.

He added that the amendments must maintain the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and all its rights.

The Layar assemblyman was commenting on Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring) Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali’s statement on Tuesday that the definition of ‘natives’ under the supreme law must be updated.

She said the definition of natives of Sarawak in the Federal Constitution had always been a concern as the current definition does not accurately reflect the different ethnicities of the natives.

“Often, apart from the Malay, Chinese and Dayak, the rest of the natives would be conveniently categorised as ‘others’ or ‘lain-lain’,” she said.

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