Saturday, February 3, 2018

Instant Bumiputeras

I’m sure we are all familiar with instant coffee. Instant noodles. Instant cameras. 

Now Sarawak is proud to present instant Bumiputeras. 

Sarawak's eighty-two-year old Abdul Taib Mahmud’s Syrian-born wife Ragad Waleed Al-Kurdi and her sons from a previous marriage, Nizar Mahmoud Madi and Sam Mahmoud Madi, were made Melanau under Section 20 of the state's Native Court Ordinance 1992 and rule 17F of the Native Court Rules 1993. 

The Resident’s Native Court in the Kuching Division had published their statuses as “natives in Sarawak” on July 24 last year, and it was then gazetted on November 09. 

[For your info, the Melanaus are the state’s fifth-largest ethnic group, and are found predominantly on the coastal belt around Mukah in middle Sarawak]. 

Equally interesting, Ragad is a registered voter n the Pantai Damai state seat and Santubong parliamentary seat.

The speedy process to grant Bumiputera status to the trio was super-efficient and super-amazing. Of course, politics made this possible. 

And yet, I read that spouses of Sarawak residents who had lived in the state for 20 to 30 years can’t even get permanent resident status. Not to mention the “hundreds of thousands” of local-born true Sarawakians who do not have identity documents, whether MyKads and/or birth certificates. Shameful. 

It seems that Ragad and sons have more rights than most Sarawakians. They are on an elevated status that others can only look upon with envy. 

I am wondering out loud. Which Article in the Federal Constitution was used in order that a 37-year-old Syrian woman can be given citizenship and granted voting rights within just six years of her marriage to a Malaysian? 

Of course it goes without saying that marrying the Sarawak state Governor most definitely helped a lot to fast-track her application. 

On a side note, please watch this 60-second video clip from Norway – it made me teary-eyed.

Løsninger er ofte nærmere enn du tror – loosely translated, it says “Nothing is better than a good network and community. Let’s help each other”. 

To me, the real message is really the gift of sharing!

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