KOTA KINABALU: Government forms will do away with the “lain-lain” category for Sabah natives and certain Sarawak natives after the Federal Cabinet gave the go-ahead on Friday.
Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said Saturday that a new format had been agreed to based on the recommendation of a Cabinet technical committee on Sabah and Sarawak bumiputra minorities.
Dr Maximus said the Cabinet during its Friday meeting had agreed for the classification of Sabah and Sarawak bumiputras in government forms as follows:
i. Anak Negeri Sabah (natives of Sabah)
ii. Bumiputra Sabah (Sabah Bumiputra); and
iii. Bukan Bumiputera (non-Bumiputra)
i. Dayak; and
ii. Others (Lain-lain)
He said the technical committee, jointly by him and Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas had made the recommendation based on the unhappiness of bumiputras/indigenous communities in the two states, who felt that they had been sidelined when labelled as “others” (lain-lain) in the forms.
“The Sabah natives also want to be classified separately from other bumiputra since their races are defined separately in the Federal Constitution and state Constitution,” he said.
“For Sabah ethnic groups, there will be no more ‘lain-lain’ category,” Dr Maximus said.
However, the Cabinet requires the Sabah state government to list all those classified as “Anak Negeri (Natives)” and “Sabah Bumiputra”. The list will then need to be gazetted before this reclassification is enforced in official forms.
“The Cabinet requires the state government to list down the races that are categorised as natives of Sabah and Sabah Bumiputra, and gazette it before this comes into effect.
“This is to prevent abuse by others who may claim to be natives or Sabah Bumiputra,’’ he said, adding that the Cabinet would wait for the gazetting before the new forms are introduced.
Sabah has about 42 ethnic groups while Sarawak has about 22.
For Sarawak, he said the Cabinet had agreed for the word “Dayak” to be used to denote the race of non-Malay Bumiputra in official forms, as proposed by the state government.