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KUCHING, Nov 11: Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) has proposed to the Sarawak government to set up a Homeland Department which is empowered to issue a separate identity card for all Sarawakians.
“In our manifesto, Aspirasi had proposed that the Sarawak government shall set up a Homeland Security Department to protect and enhance our Sarawak identity.
“This can be done by issuing a separate Sarawak identity card with ‘K’ status which shall be in use in Sarawak only.
“This shall be an official document for use in any administrative purpose within Sarawak. This will secure our Sarawak identity and is vigilant against non-Sarawakians becoming Sarawakians if we let our guard down like Sabah,” said Aspirasi Lina Soo in a statement today.
On the recent debate on the Constitution of the State of Sarawak (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 Bill, Soo held that there is no need for any member of Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) to stir political drama but to resolve in a calm and civil manner any flawed and defective legislation befitting the status of the highest institution in Sarawak.
Soo said she was unfazed over the brouhaha over the proposed amendment to Article 16 of the Sarawak Consitution.
To her, Article 16 of Sarawak Constitution rules on eligibility of a citizen to run for the office of elected lawmaker to DUN. Without amendment, it means that any Malaysia citizen even if he is non-Sarawakian but has been residing in Sarawak is qualified to run for election to DUN.
“This leaves the door open to the people of Sabah and the states of Malaya to come in and become our lawmakers upon completing a period of residency.
“It is imperative to amend this law, as without amendment it is open to interpretation that non-Sarawakians who are resident in Sarawak are eligible to be elected to DUN, and can even hold the highest office in Sarawak,” said Soo.
According to her, the amendment to Article 16 is not to clarify the words ‘resident in the State’ but to qualify the criteria of who holds resident status for the purpose of election to DUN.
Soo alleged that Tourism, Arts and Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah had tabled an amendment which has created more ambiguity and uncertainties than the original legislation.
“Sarawak law must state very clearly that only a natural born person of Sarawak, who holds Sarawak status of being born to at least one Sarawak parent, and who has been living in Sarawak for a specified period of residence in Sarawak is qualified to be elected as member to DUN,” said Soo.
Soo said this is correct as Sarawak is not a ‘negeri’ or state but Sarawak is a component nation of the Federation of Malaysia unlike the states of Malaya.
“YB Datuk Karim must go back to the drawing board and make an iron-clad amendment with using correct vocabulary which will leave no room for ambiguity and loopholes,” she said. — DayakDaily