Sunday, November 29

‘Sino-Native’ term a threat to KDM identity

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TAWAU: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) supreme council member Kenneth Goh objected to the use of the term ‘Sino-Native’ by the National Registration Department (NRD) to define ‘Sino-Kadazans’, ‘Sino-Dusuns’ or ‘Sino-Muruts’.

Goh said he had thought that the issue was settled after he highlighted it when his own daughter was not recognized as a Sino-Kadazan.

“The definition of Sino-Native is complex and it encompasses all the native races but in the process dilutes the local native ethnics,” he said yesterday.

“The word ‘Sino’ refers to being Chinese, so ‘Sino-Kadazan’ simply means part Chinese and part Kadazan and this similarly applies to ‘Sino-Dusun’ and ‘Sino-Murut’. It is a race as such when compared to being a ‘Sino-Native’,” he pointed out.

“To me it looks like the KDMs (Kadazan, Dusun and Murut) are being marginalised. The application of the word ‘Sino’ is unique to Sabah and it refers specifically those born of mixed-parentage. It is more than an identity and the NRD should not meddle with this.

“The people should be given the freedom to choose what they want to be called. In Sabah, if a person says he or she is a Sino-Dusun, we will immediately know that one of his or her parents is a Chinese and the other a Dusun.

“It is so simple. So why change it and make it complicated,” he said.

“Using the term ‘Sino-Native’ will cause the younger generation to eventually forget their original race since there will be no record to identify them as having either the Kadazan, Dusun or Murut roots,” he said.

Goh said with many mixed marriages, the KDM race could be threatened into extinction.

“It is my wife’s and my decision to register ‘Sino-Kadazan’ as our daughter’s race and we are proud of it,” he said.

“The NRD cannot just simply change a person’s race without informing him or her and in the case of USDA (United Sabah Dusun Association) deputy president Sylvester S. Taing’s sister’s grand-daughter, the parents should have the right to be informed,” he said.

“Does this mean that all the Sino-Kadazan, Dusun and Murut ethnics been changed to Sino-Native? I will check the status of my children’s race again with the NRD, and I advise all Sinos to do likewise,” he said when commenting on Taing’s statement.

On Saturday, Taing had objected to the use of the term ‘Sino Native’ to replace ‘Sino-Dusun, Sino-Kadazan and Sino-Murut’ that have been widely used and understood since the colonial era by those in mixed marriages with the KDM natives.

He said the Dusun, Kadazan and Murut indicated after the word ‘Sino’ meant that they are of Sabah origin and denotes a race of its own right.

Taing said he was furious when he found out that his sister’s grand-child had lost her racial ethnicity with the blink of an eye when opening an ASB account.

“The child is now not a Sino-Dusun but a Sino-Native. Sino-Native is not a race.

“With this policy, one day my race will be erased from the face of Sabah. I urge all KDM leaders in the state, whether in the government, opposition and those in the non-governmental organisations to unite to restore the situation before it is too late,” Taing said.

“The saying ‘Takkan Dusun hilang di bumi Sabah’ (No Dusun will vanish from Sabah) is now changed by this policy. I call for this policy to be abrogated,” he said.