‘Dayak’ term recognition a case of legislative mismatch, says PBDSB

Julius Enchana

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KUCHING, June 11: By replacing the word ‘Dayak’ in the Interpretation Ordinance in 2004, the term ‘Sea Dayak’ became ‘Iban’ and ‘Land Dayak’ became Bidayuh.

Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDSB) secretary-general Julius Enchana said all Dayak lawmakers should realise the implications of the amendment because it does not sync with what is stated in the Federal Constitution.

Citing Article 161A(6)(a) and 7 of the Federal Constitution, Julius said the term ‘Native’ means:

(a) In relation to Sarawak, a person who is a citizen and either belongs to one of the races specified in Clause (7) as an indigenous to the State or is of mixed blood deriving exclusively from those races;

(7). The races to be treated for the purposes of the definition of ‘native’ on Clause (6) as indigenous to Sarawak are the Bukitans, Bisayahs, Dusuns, Sea Dayaks, Land Dayaks, Kadayans, Kelabits, Kayans, Kenyahs (including Sabups and Sipengs), Kajangs (including Sekapans, Kejamans, Lahanans, Penans, Tanjongs and Kanowits), Lugats, Malays, Melanaos, Muruts, Penans, Sians, Tagals, Tabuns and Ukits.

Therefore, Julius pointed out that the terms Ibans, Lun Bawangs and Bidayuhs were new terminologies and could not be treated for the purpose of the definition of ‘native’.

“I think the State Democratic Action Party (DAP) chief Chong Chieng Jen is well aware of this legal interpretation. Thus, the Ibans, Lun Bawangs and Bidayuhs will lose their rights as specified under Article 153 of the Federal Constitution,” said Julius in a statement today.

“It is a written law. So, for Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) Youth chief-cum-elected representative of Balai Ringgin Datuk Snowdan Lawan, I hope he can clarify the connection between the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) vs Federal Constitution vs State Ordinance.”

Julius reckoned that if the amendment to the Interpretation Ordinance in 2004 was allowed to apply, the Ibans, Lun Bawangs and Bidayuhs would lose their rights over Native Customary Rights land and other privileges meant for the natives. — DayakDaily