Struggle for equal rights continues
by Peter Sibon
August 14, 2010, Saturday
Sarawak, Sabah Bumis should enjoy position as enshrined in federal constitution — Dompok
PUTRAJAYA: Bumiputeras from Sarawak and Sabah should be accorded equal opportunities as their counterparts in the peninsula in all sectors especially in civil service, education and economy, said Minister of Primary Commodities and Industries Tan Sri Bernard Dompok.
He said under the federal constitution, Bumiputeras from Sarawak and Sabah were accorded equal status as their counterparts in Peninsular Malaysia.
“Under the Technical Committee for Bumiputeras in Sarawak and Sabah, of which I am the chairman, we aim to achieve equality for all Bumiputeras regardless of their religion,” Dompok told The Borneo Post, Utusan Borneo and Oriental Daily at his office here on Thursday.
He said the committee would meet from time to time to discuss pertinent issues which the members would then bring up to the cabinet.
Members comprise three federal ministers from Sabah and one from Sarawak: Minister of Rural and Regional Development Datuk Seri Safie Apdal; Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili and Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman (all from Sabah) and Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Datuk Sri Douglas Uggah Embas (Sarawak).
He said their next meeting would be held at Uggah’s office.
“The committee will meet and continue to discuss pertinent issues which we hope could be resolved by the cabinet, which is usually chaired by the prime minister,” he revealed.
Dompok said one of the long outstanding issues that had been resolved was the Native Customary Rights (NCR) land in Sarawak.
“Now the Sarawak government will implement the perimeter survey of the NCR with funding from the federal government,” he said.
“The other issue we will continue to pursue is the fact that almost all top posts in the federal civil service are dominated by Bumiputeras from the peninsula.
“There should be fairness in appointment at all levels,” he said.
Dompok who is also president of the United Pasok Momogun Kadazan-Dusun Organisation (Upko) said they would also address other pertinent issues even if they were deemed sensitive, lest the opposition capitalise on them.
“However, as I have said on many occasions and I must admit, even the Barisan Nasional (BN) is facing shortcomings and weaknesses. But it comes in a package we have to accept,” he added.