Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Native kids being classified as 'Melayu'

UPDATED

Read also:

The Dayak races are facing extinction on paper at Antubeduru.blogspot.

If this is not a genuine mistake, can we assume this is the beginning of “Ethnic Cleansing” of the Dayak Community? at Change We Must.

“According to William, it was found that it was neither the fault of the teachers nor the schools concerned but it was a directive from the Education Exam Division of the Education Ministry” at The Malaysian Mirror.

Dayak schoolchildren turned into 'Malays' at Malaysiakini. (See below)

Keruah Usit, Dec 1, 10. Sarawakian parents from the Lun Bawang, Kelabit and Iban communities are infuriated that their children's ethnic origin has been recorded as 'Malay' in official Education Department documents.

“Our religion is Christian. We are very upset…the school changed the status of our children to keturunan Melayu (of Malay origin) which is completely wrong and unacceptable,” the parents complained in a letter to William Ghani Bina, the president of the Sarawak Teachers' Union. They demanded that this practice be investigated and stopped immediately.

The alarming discovery was made in the students' mid-year and year-end report cards. The parents said the reason given by the Temenggong Datuk Murip School was that the change was part of “standard administrative procedure”.

Baru Bian, a Lun Bawang lawyer and head of Sarawak PKR, told the press: “We have been approached by concerned native parents about the sudden change in status of their children in school report cards. The status I am referring to is their keturunan.

“According to these parents who made the complaint, their children, who are natives of Sarawak by birth, are now classified as keturunan Melayu instead of lain-lain (others) as previously practised.”

Baru Bian pointed out the parents are natives under Article 161A of the constitution, and cannot possibly be Malay as they are not Muslim, do not habitually speak Malay and do not conform to Malay customs, as required by Article 160.

He said one parent had told him that the status recorded as 'Malay' cannot be changed back “because it was already within the system and the education officer was not able to make the changes”.

Baru Bian echoed the concerns of the six parents, explaining that some bureaucrats might accept the new status as evidence of 'back-door' conversions to Islam.

“It has great implications in the future. If such status is not clarified and maintained, it can (imply) that a native person, once he or she is classified as a Malay in official school documents, is a Muslim by virtue of the definition of Article 160.”

He urged the Education Ministry to rectify this error.

“Why are native children now classified as Melayu or Malay in schools? We are afraid this may be the tip of the iceberg and we would like to alert other native parents to check the status of their children before the matter becomes irreversible.”

The ministry was unable to provide any immediate comment.


Cultural dislocation


Feelings have been running high in Sarawak's blogosphere over the 10 strokes of the cane inflicted on 10-year-old Basil Beginda by an assistant principal in St Thomas's School in Kuching, for taking rice fried with pork sausages to school early last month.

The Education Ministry initially denied the teacher had caned the boy for taking pork to school. The authorities then argued that the boy's father, Beginda Minda, was Muslim, and therefore by extension, the boy was too.

But the state religious department could find no record of Beginda having converted to Islam. The teacher later apologised to the student and his mother.

The government's infringement of religious freedom has touched a raw nerve in Sarawak's traditionally tolerant and pluralistic society.

The BN ban on the use of the Arabic word for 'God' by non-Muslims has not yet been resolved, and bibles containing this word have been seized. Sarawakian Christians are angry over the new rules, since they have used the word for over a century in their prayer books.

Sarawakians are also concerned over the erosion of local languages by the nearly exclusive use of Malay in boarding schools - the only schools accessible to many poor rural Dayak students.

For example, Penan children in the hamlet of Pa'Tik have to walk two days to get to school in the Bario highlands, and rarely manage to visit their families at home. The teenagers are not encouraged to speak languages other than Malay to one another in school.

Even when the boarders are at home in Pa'Tik for term break, they argue and swear at one another in Malay, and listen to Malay rock music at high volume. Cultural dislocation is inevitable.

Many Sarawakians, including Baru Bian, speak of federal government policies perceived as neo-colonial. These include the erosion of religious freedom, unequal access to bumiputera or native privileges, and the marginalisation of local languages and cultures.

Most of all, they are angry at the impoverishment of ordinary Sarawakians. Sarawak receives only 5 percent of royalties on petroleum from its waters, and remains one of the poorest states in the federation.

“We are living under another form of colonialism, whereby the colonial power is in (Peninsular) Malaysia,” Baru Bian said in an interview with indigenous rights advocate, the Bruno Manser Fund, in January.

The eminent land rights lawyer has criticised state chief minister Abdul Taib Mahmud's administration for being “under the dictate of Kuala Lumpur” and for having “shortchanged the ordinary people”.

KERUAH USIT is a human rights activist - 'anak Sarawak, bangsa Malaysia'. This weekly column is an effort to provide a voice for marginalised Malaysians. Keruah Usit can be contacted at keruah_usit@yahoo.com
___________________


By Joseph Tawie

KUCHING: Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian has received complaints from native parents about their children being classified as Malays in their school report cards.

According to him, the children's “keturunan” (origin) were stated as “Melayu” instead of “Lain-Lain” (others) as practiced in the past.

“We were informed by one parent that the status cannot be changed (back) because it was already within the system and the education officer was not able to make the changes,” he said.

Sarawak PKR was also furnished with a copy of a letter inked by six concerned parents which was sent to the state teachers' union president seeking a clarification on the matter.

“We echo the concerns of these parents because it has great implications in the future,” said Baru.

“If the status is not clarified and maintained, it can be implied that a native person, once he or she is classified as a Malay in official school documents, is a Muslim by virtue of the definition of Article 160 (of the Federal Constitution),” he added.

Article 160 states that “a Malay means a person who professes the religion of Islam, habitually speaks the Malay language, conforms to Malay custom...”

Whereas, Article 161 on natives states that “in relation to Sarawak, a person who is a citizen and either belongs to one of the races specified in Clause (7) as indigenous to the state or is of mixed blood deriving exclusively from those races; and...”

“The races to be treated for the purposes of the definition of 'native' as indigenous to Sarawak are the Bukitans, Bisayahs, Dusuns, Sea Dayaks, Land Dayaks, Kadayans, Kalabit, Kayans, Kenyahs (Including Sabups and Sipengs), Kajangs (including Sekapans, Kejamans, Lahanans, Punans, Tanjongs and Kanowits), Lugats, Lisums, Malays, Melanos, Muruts, Penans, Sians, Tagals, Tabuns and Ukits.”

Meanwhile, Baru demanded that the Education Ministry launch an immediate investigation into the matter and provide an explanation.

“We are afraid that this may just be the tip of the iceberg and we would like to alert other native parents to check the status of their children before the matter becomes irreversible,” he said.


Union to raise it with ministry

When contacted, the president of Sarawak teachers' union, William Ghani Bina said he had taken up the issue to the state deputy director of education.

“And I am going to Kuala Lumpur and on Thursday, I will discuss it with the Director-General of Education,” he said.

“For you and I this is very bad. How can a Malay go to church? How can a Malay celebrate Christmas? How can a Malay celebrate Gawai?” he asked.

He added that these children and their families ate pork as well.

“How can they be of keturunan Melayu?”

He also noted that while the documents of the children indicated that they were 'Melayu', their birth certificates clearly showed that their parents were 'Christians' (see photos).

The children go to the Temenggong Datuk Muip school in Miri.


Taken from Free Malaysia Today.

Read also:

Race change to Malay in Sarawak school spooks parents at The Malaysian Insider.

Ibu bapa pribumi Sarawak khuatir status keturunan ditukar Melayu at the Malaysian Insider.

_________________________________________________________

PRESS STATEMENT
Issued by: Baru Bian, PKR State Liaison Chief, Sarawak
Date: Tuesday 30th November 2010
Place: Keadilan Stampin Office
Time: 3.30pm

We have been approached by concerned native parents about the sudden change in status of their children in school report cards.

The status I am referring to is their KETURUNAN. According to these parents who made the complaint, their children, who are natives of Sarawak by birth, are now classified as KETURUNAN MELAYU instead of LAIN LAIN as previously practised.

If we look at the Constitution of Malaysia, the MALAY race or MELAYU is clearly defined as follows:

Article number: 160

160. (2) In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires, the following expressions have the meanings hereby respectively assigned to them, that is to say -

"Malay" means a person who professes the religion of Islam, habitually speaks the Malay language, conforms to Malay custom and -

(a) was before Merdeka Day born in the Federation or in Singapore or born of parents one of whom was born in the Federation or in Singapore, or is on that day domiciled in the Federation or in Singapore; or (b) is the issue of such a person.

The Constitution also clearly defines what constitutes a native, as follows:

Article number: 161a

161A. (6) In this Article "native" means-

(a) in relation to Sarawak, a person who is a citizen and either belongs to one of the races specified in Clause (7) as indigenous to the State or is of mixed blood deriving exclusively from those races; and

(b) in relation to Sabah, a person who is a citizen, is the child or grandchild of a person of a race indigenous to Sabah, and was born (whether on or after Malaysia Day or not) either in Sabah or to a father domiciled in Sabah at the time of the birth.

(7) The races to be treated for the purposes of the definition of "native" in Clause (6) as indigenous to Sarawak are the Bukitans, Bisayahs, Dusuns, Sea Dayaks, Land Dayaks, Kadayans, Kalabit, Kayans, Kenyahs (Including Sabups and Sipengs), Kajangs (including Sekapans, Kejamans, Lahanans, Punans, Tanjongs and Kanowits), Lugats, Lisums, Malays, Melanos, Muruts, Penans, Sians, Tagals, Tabuns and Ukits.

We were informed by one parent that the status cannot be changed because it was already within the system and the Education Offficer was not able to make the changes.

We have been given a copy of a letter signed by six concerned parents addressed to the President of the Sarawak Teachers Union seeking clarification on this matter, as attached. We also attach four examples of these cases where native school children are now classified as MELAYU.

We echo the concerns of these parents because it has great implications in the future. If such status is not clarified and maintained, it can be implied that a native person, once he or she is classified as a MALAY in official school documents, is a MUSLIM by virtue of the definition of Article 160.

The purpose of this press conference is therefore to highlight two matters:

1. The question we now pose to the Ministry of Education is why are native children now classified as MELAYU OR MALAY in schools? We therefore ask the Education Ministry to investigate this matter immediately.

2. We are afraid that this may just be the tip of the ice-berg and we would like to alert other native parents to check the status of their children before the matter becomes irreversible.


6 comments:

basil sin said...

we have our right to be called by our native name....

Anonymous said...

Tat's crazy man! Find out and bring them to book.

Anonymous said...

Pls< Baru Bian and all natives of Sarawak, go for those people who do thie evil thing...............never give up our own identity. Why must we all be classified as Malays? Cowards. They do all sorts of tricks to dceminate n marginalise us.

Joshua Jabeng said...

Yb Joseph Entulu must be very happy now that the efforts to obliterate the Dayaks from the face of the earth is gaining progress. By smart design, all Dayak kids who enroll into Kemas Kindertgartens will be automatically convert to keturunan Melayu...and by Federal Constitution will be muslims too.

Where are the so-called Yang Berhormat Dayak Leaders in BN? Why leave the protesting to the Parti Pembangkang? Are you admitting in deafening that PKR, DAP & SNAP are the real HEROS of the people?

Better still just throw your support behind Pakatan Rakyat. At the end of the day you may find pardon for your crime.

Anonymous said...

Are we seeing this incident happening all the times? I guess not! So, please don't blow it out of proportion just because we want to be the peoples champion? Don't try to make an impression that BN has done nothing to solve sensitive issues and not just an issue! Do something if you may, after all it's not just BN's responsibility. Be real and honest and don't do things for the sake of earning political mileage. Don't misuse religion as a cover up because God doesn't!

Anonymous said...

Ini tak patut berlaku, christian bumuputera must fight for it.so one day anak-anak kita tidak di double standard dalam gov.malaysia between bumiputra islan and bumiputra bukan islam