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By Ling Hui
KUCHING, Nov 12: Amendment to Article 16 of State Constitution on the term “resident in the state” is not an issue of native, but the issue of eligibility.
Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, thus said either one of the parents born and normally residing in Sarawak could make the child a Sarawakian, not restricted to only the father or the mother.
He believed that this particular definition of the term “resident in the state” as stated in the revised Constitution of the State of Sarawak (Amendment) Bill, 2020 is sufficient.
“At the moment, I would say either one of the parents could make one a Sarawakian because this is not an issue of Bumiputera or non-Bumiputera, this is an issue of eligibility.
“So, that is why the requirement is not that strict. Either one of the parents is sufficient to deem the child a Sarawakian, provided that they normally reside in Sarawak,” he explained during a press conference after tabling the revised Constitution of the State of Sarawak (Amendment) Bill, 2020 that was later passed today.
With regard to future ambiguity, Abdul Karim said the issue could be brought to the court and to be debated further, especially if any person felt aggrieved to the amended State Constitution.
“Even though it might not be in the interpretation, it’s up to the court to decide in future in the event that if someone feels that he is a Sarawakian but not given the opportunity.
“He can bring it up to the court and let the court decide,” he said.-DayakDaily
Caption: Abdul Karim during a press conference after the morning session of DUN sitting today.