KOTA KINABALU: A 28-year freeze in the issuance of Native Certificates is not likely to be lifted any time soon, state Local Government Housing Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor said.
He said the state wanted to ensure that the abuse which followed the issuance of the certificate does not recur.
The certificate was issued by the Native Courts until the practice was stopped in 1982 due to rampant abuse.
It accorded Sabah bumiputra status to those of mixed parentage such as Kadazandusun and Chinese.
Hajiji said any change could have far-reaching consequences.
“There were good reasons when the Sabah government ordered the freeze nearly three decades ago and subsequent state administrations chose to maintain the status quo,” he added.
He noted that the Sarawak government only issued such certificates to pure natives.
He noted that those eligible to buy native land or invest in Amanah Saham Bumiputra can always go to the state Bumiputra Affairs Office to get their status endorsed.
The Sabah Law Association (SLA) had claimed that some Sabah natives are still being deprived of their constitutional and birth right as they are unable to obtain the Sijil Anak Negri or Native Certificates.
SLA president Datuk John Sikayun said there is a need to reactivate a Ministerial Committee to review the Interpretation (Definition of Native) Ordinance and the process of issuing native certificates.
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