MP questions 'real agenda' behind native cert freeze
KINABALU, Jan 2, 2011: The state government's reluctance to lift the
freeze on the issuance of "native certificates" has come under scrutiny
by opposition politicians.
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Sepangar MP Eric Majimbun has questioned the real agenda behind the
almost 30-year freeze on the "sijil anak negeri (SAN) also known as
"native certificate", which was frozen since the Berjaya government era
back in 1982.
He suspected that this could just be an attempt by the state government
to safeguard certain individuals, especially foreigners who managed to
gain native title land using their new status after they became
Malaysian citizens and natives through dubious means.
He cited the case of Kedah-hailed Syed Kechik Syed Mohamed Al-Bukhary,
the former Sabah strongman-cum-close aide of former chief Minister
Mustapha Harun, who managed to purchase many parcels of prime native
lands in the state using his native certificate.
"Among the prime lands purchased by the late Syed Kechik are the
present site of Universiti Malaysia Sabah which he later sold back to
the Sabah Foundation, and several other pieces in Telipok," Majimbun
said in a statement here yesterday.
He was responding to the statement by State Local Government and
Housing Minister Hajiji Mohd Noor on Wednesday that the state
government was in no hurry to lift the freeze on the issuance of native
certificates to avoid a recurrence of abuses as witnessed prior to the
freeze in 1982.
Hajiji said that both the government and people must be rational and
not emotional in this matter as the possible consequences could
No interest in natives
Majimbun, who is also a deputy president of Sabah Progressive Party
(SAPP), however, said Hajiji was making up excuses given that the BN
government had put the spotlight on the issue by deciding to revoke a
Sabahan's native status.
He said that it was a fact that the freeze on the native certificate
has affected two generations of bona fide Sabahans who were born of
They included the Sino-Kadazan or Dusun, Indian-Kadazan or Dusun, Sino-Murut,
Pakistan-Bajau, American-Murut, English-Brunei, Arab-Idahan, Filipino-Kadazan
and similar cases.
Among the common difficulties faced by them are problems purchasing
Amanah Saham Bumiputera shares, purchasing or inheriting native land or
registering their names on native titles.
Besides, they are also sidelined from educational opportunities meant
for natives and economic incentives offered solely to Bumiputeras.
"To say that there's no urgency to solve this problem shows that the
present Umno-led state government does not care about Sabahans born
through mixed marriages," Majimbun said.
He said that it was also worrying that the State National Registration
Department (NRD) identified and categorised those born of mixed
parentage as "Sino-native" in their birth certificate.
"This is wrong. There is no such race as 'Sino-native' under the state
constitution… unlike 'Sino-Kadazan', 'Sino-Murut' and all those
mentioned earlier, Sino-native is not a race…"
Despite being appraised of the mistake last year, the State NRD
continues to ignore it, he said. Source: FMT