Mobilise necessary machinery to eradicate issue of statelessness, urges Sadia

Sarawak Dayak Iban Association Rajang branch chairman Bill Jugah.

KUCHING, May 30: Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA) Rajang branch chairman Bill Jugah calls for the relevant party to address the statelessness issue beyond rhetoric, with actual progress.

According to Bill, stateless indigenous people were excluded from government food aid relief because such categorised people are not included in any government listing.

“The right and humane thing to do is to cast aside any differences from both sides of the political divide, reassure the people that the current government is serious in its efforts to eradicate this issue and mobilise necessary machinery to areas where the issue is concentrated.

“The problem needs to be addressed, not the bearer of the message. This is the epitome of mature politics,” he said in a statement today.

Bill cited a case in Sibu, where a family of seven siblings aged between 17-42 years without any documentation lived with their paralyzed father and were renting a run-down house in Jalan Bukit Assek. They were daily wage earners doing odd-jobs and without any form of employment benefits.

He said similar cases also occurred in other places such as in Danau Melikin and Balai Ringin in Serian, in Mongkos near Tebedu and also in Baram area in Miri which was highlighted in 2009.

“Mud-flinging would not alleviate or mitigate the issue; instead such behaviour invites speculations and ridicule on the level of professionalism and accountability on the part of the authorities,” he pointed.

At the same time, he opined that the authorities should issue identification documents and granted citizenship at Sarawak’s own discretion.

“This is where the sincerity of the Sarawak government in fighting for the state’s rights would be exemplified and where the slogan ‘Sarawak For Sarawakians’ would really hold true instead of mere lip-service,” he said.—DayakDaily