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KUCHING, Sept 28: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB)’s Women wing backs the Sarawak government’s proposal to update the definition of “natives” in the Federal Constitution.
Its treasurer-general Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali who is also the Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring, said the current definition of “natives” in the Constitution does not accurately reflect the numerous different native races in the State.
“Often, apart from the races of Malay, Chinese and Dayak, the rest of the natives would be conveniently categorised as ‘others’ or ‘lain-lain’. This is indeed very concerning.
“We believe it is important for us to put the specific names of various ethnicities in Sarawak in the Constitution. This is because anything enshrined in the Constitution is law that cannot be questioned and not easy for us to amend,” she said at a press conference after attending a PBB Women Supreme Council meeting here today.
Sharifah Hasidah who is also the Samariang assemblywoman further said the PBB Women trust that updating the definition will give a better picture of who are natives, with all the native races included in the updated definition.
“It should result in a much better understanding of the numerous races who comprised the natives of Sarawak, who have distinct cultures, traditions and languages of their own and these characteristics are what make Sarawak so unique.
“The updating of this definition with the guidance of Majlis Adat Istiadat which is the authority on the subject will definitely go some way towards making the Federal Constitution, a more inclusive document.
“As such we sincerely hope that the proposed amendment can be tabled and passed in this Parliamentary session,” she added.
Amongst those present was PBB Women chief Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah. — DayakDaily