Chong: Third generation of Chinese, Indian in Sarawak are natives too

Chong (left) speaks during the press conference while Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong Wui Wui looks on.

By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, Feb 14: Third generation-Sarawakian born of any race in Sarawak including the Chinese and Indian should be regarded as natives of the State, says Padungan assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen.

He said he will propose this amendment to the Interpretation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 which will be tabled by Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Law, MA63 and State-Federal Relations) Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali in the 19th Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting tomorrow (Feb 15).

In the proposed amendment Bill, there is a list of 31 races which are proposed to be considered as natives of Sarawak in the Interpretation Ordinance.

They are Bagatan, Bakong, Bemali, Berawan, Bidayuh or Land Dayak (including Salako, Rara, Jagoi, Singai, Biatah and Bukar-Sadong), Bisaya, Buket or Ukit, Dali, Dusun, Iban or Sea Dayak, Jatti Miriek, Kajang (including Sekapan, Kejaman, Lahanan, Punan, Tanjong and Kanowit), Kayan, Kedayan, Kelabit, Kenyah (including Badeng, Sebop and Seping), Lakiput, Lisum, Logat, Malay, Melanau, Murut or Lun Bawang, Narom, Penan, Sa’ban, Sihan, Tabun, Tagal, Tatau, Tring and Vaie.

Chong proposed that Clause 2 of the Bill be amended by inserting immediately after the word “Vaie” in a new line, the words “Chinese, Indian or any race not stated herein and the person of which race is born in Sarawak and whose natural parents or either one of the natural parents is also born in Sarawak.”

“My proposed amendment is that third generation of Chinese, Indian or any race in Sarawak should be regarded as natives of the State in line with the principle of inclusivity.

“The Chinese, Indian or other races, by the time (they) reach the third generation, (they) are as much as native as any Sarawakian and therefore, there should not be any discrimination and distinction between one another.

“Thus, the detail of the arguments, I will put forward tomorrow in the debate, but basically this proposed amendment to the Interpretation (Amendment) Bill is to provide that everyone who is third generation Sarawakian should be considered as natives,” he said at a press conference held at the DUN complex here today.

Chong who is also the Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman and Stampin MP further said his proposed amendment was pursuant to Standing Order 50(4) and Order 54. — DayakDaily