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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Standardise bumi status for Sarawakians: Teacher’s union

KUCHING: The definition of bumiputra status in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak should be standardised, said Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU) president William Ghani Bina.

He said under the Federal Constitution, a child born in the peninsula would be accorded the status as long as one of the parents was a bumiputra.

Sabah, a child is considered a bumiputra if his or her father is one.

However, in Sarawak, the Federal Constitution states that for a child to be a bumiputra, both parents must be bumiputra.

How can we have three different definition of bumiputra status if we want to promote the 1Malaysia concept?”

We want this to be rectified, and to get Sabah and Sarawak to follow the same definition used in the peninsula,” Ghani said Sunday.

the Federal Government to standardise the definition, he said the basis should be race and not religion.

was asked to comment on the plight of several Sarawakian students who had been denied places in university matriculation programmes because they were of mixed parentage and, therefore, did not enjoy bumiputra status.

said the STU had received similar complaints and that he also knew of students of mixed parentage who were granted bumiputra privileges and scholarships to do their tertiary studies.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the Federal Constitution should be streamlined with the Sarawak Constitution, which considers a child a bumiputra if his or her father was one.

Junaidi, whose wife is a Chinese, was concerned that if the matter was not rectified, his children, like many children of mixed parentage, would no longer enjoy bumiputra privileges.

Development Minister Datuk James Masing said the Education Ministry’s criteria in enrolling students into public universities should be based on merits and not race.

PKR chairman and senior lawyer Baru Bian said he was ready to assist one of the affected students, Marina Undau’s family seek legal redress against the Education Ministry’s decision in rejecting her application to enter a matriculation programme.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu has also pledged to help Undau. (THE STAR)

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