Foreign-born becomes ‘Melanau’ while Sarawakians still not recognised, says DAP

Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen (centre) shows a photocopy of the state government's gazette confirming the post that went viral over social media on Ragad's Melanau status is true.

KUCHING, Feb 1: Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen urges the state government to be as efficient in processing the applications of thousands of Sarawakians without identity documents, following viral posts on social media alleging the foreign-born spouse and children of a state leader are now officially natives of Sarawak.

“If he (State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani) can sign this (application) for (Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Madmud’s wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Ragad Kurdi Taib), we call upon the state government to be as effective and to expedite processing (the applications of) all these locally born Sarawakians who have no identity cards,” he told a press conference today, claiming he had confirmed that the Head of State’s foreign-born wife is now officially ‘Melanau’.

The state Pakatan Harapan chairman and DAP chief alleged there are thousands of applications sitting on the desk of the State Secretary from applicants without either identity cards or birth certificates, waiting to be approved.

On the matter of the “Melanau” status of Ragad and her two children which has gone viral over social media, Chong said he managed to obtain a photocopy of the state government’s gazette from the Kuching High Court library confirming that Ragad is now Melanau.

Chong said that Ragad now “has more rights than most of us as native under the law” but he reserved his comment, saying that he would leave it to Sarawakians to judge.

In addition, Chong, who is also Kota Sentosa state assemblyman, claimed he had done a search through the Election Commission’s (SPR) website ( and confirmed that Ragad is now a valid voter in the Pantai Damai state constituency and Santubong parliament constituency.

Ragad married Taib, then chief minister, on Dec 18, 2010.

The viral posts on social media carry a photo purportedly of the state government’s gazette showing Ragad and her two children’s applications for identification with the Melanau community under Section 20 of the Native Courts Ordinance 1992 and Rule 17F of and the Native Courts Rules 1993 had been approved. The document was signed by Mohamad Morshidi and dated Nov 9, 2017. — DayakDaily