Sunday, October 1

Sharifah Hasidah: District offices to accept applications for Native status from Nov 1


Sharifah Hasidah said Malaysian citizens who are a natural born child of a person of a race indigenous to Sarawak and one of his or her parents is a person of a race indigenous to Sarawak can apply for Native status.

KUCHING (Sept 19): Applications for recognition as a Native can be made at any district office in Sarawak from Nov 1, 2023, said Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali.

The Deputy Minister in the Sarawak Premier’s Department (Law, MA63 and State-Federal Relations) said the fee will be RM100 per application.

She said the Sarawak government will establish a committee headed by State Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki to consider the applications.

“This is an important law in response to the numerous queries. With reference to the enforcement date of the Interpretation (Amendment) Ordinance 2022, in relation to the determination of Native status of any person, the government has decided that the date of enforcement of the said Ordinance is Nov 1, 2023,” she told a press conference here today.

“In line with the provisions of the Interpretation (Amendment) Ordinance 2022, the qualifying criteria is very simple.

“For any person to be recognised as a Native of Sarawak, he or she must be a Malaysian citizen; a natural born child of a person of a race indigenous to Sarawak; and one of his or her parents is a person of a race indigenous to Sarawak,” she explained.

She said ‘Native’ also meant those having ‘Bumiputera’ special status.

Forms for those wishing to apply for Native status will be available from district offices.

“As of now, people just went to court, but from Nov 1, we shall have a special committee to handle applications,” Sharifah Hasidah explained.

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 would resolve the predicaments of those having their Native status questioned or those not previously recognised as Native by the government.

“I am very confident that this law (amendment) can resolve issues and help to maintain public order,” she said.

Sharifah Hasidah pointed out she tabled the amendment Bill on the matter at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) last year and the Ordinance was duly amended, giving Sarawak the right to determine the Native status of any person in Sarawak, including those of mixed parentage.