By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, Feb 20: The native status granted automatically to mixed-marriage children would resolve various family affairs, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
He took note that intermarriages are common in Sarawak and therefore, it was deemed necessary for the State government to amend the Sarawak State Constitution, particularly on matters concerning natives.
“From now onwards, if there is an intermarriage where one parent is from an indigenous group, their offspring automatically become natives.
“That means we have no problem in terms of managing family affairs,” he said when officiating at the Unity Night Year 2022 organised by Federation of The Division Chinese Association Sarawak held in Miri last night.
On Feb 15, the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN) passed the Interpretation (Amendment) Bill 2022 which updated the list of indigenous races in the State.
Under this Bill, a child from a mixed marriage may be considered a native even if only one of his or her parents is a native, subject to the conditions and requirements to be imposed by the State Cabinet.
According to Abang Johari, many intermarriages occur in the State, such as Iban and Malay, Malay and Melanau, and Malay and Chinese, to name a few.
“When they fall in love, how to stop (them)? If they want to get married, (let them) get married. But then, their offspring should be recognised as a native if one of the parents is a native,” he stressed.
He also said that there is a belief that hybrid or mixed-parentage children are known to be intelligent.
“If this is true, then Sarawak will have a lot of intelligent people. Why worry?
“(With this generation) we will develop our Sarawak into a developed State by 2030 with high income economy,” he added.
He highlighted that the unity of the people in Sarawak must be protected at all costs as it symbolised the uniqueness of the State. ― DayakDaily