Thursday, 9 July 2009

Race/Bangsa: Others/Lain-lain

When I left school years ago, my friends and I applied whatever posts advertised vacant by the various government departments and its agencies. I still remember that the application forms had, and I think it still exist, a column on Race/Bangsa.

Listed in prints were Malay, Chinese, Indian and Others. I am not a Malay, Chinese nor an Indian, so I fell under Others. So my friends and I marked our race as Others and in the dotted line we wrote Kadazan or Dusun. There was also a Bajau friend of mine who also opted for Others and listed his race as Bajau.

When I was called for interview for a government post in 1973, the three interviewers looked at my application form and asked me to confirm if I am a Kadazan or Dusun. I told them there was no difference but was told that a Kadazan spoke Kadazan and a Dusun spoke Dusun. I insisted that I was a Kadazan but they said my birth certificate showed that I am a Dusun.

That also I was asked to prove that I am a Dusun, to which I sang to them a Dusun song entitled `Aiso Koruhang Modop' a song by Ambrose Mudi of Tambunan. Now I am sure that I was employed because of the that song which confirmed that I am a Dusun to them. But I was not long in government service. Training for two years and worked for only eight monhts.

I left because that Dusun song did not help me in the place to which I was posted. I ventured into journalism and here I am sitting down in front of my computer's monitor after 30 years in this field.

As in my earlier posting, I left the print media. I am saying here that I am going into electronic media in two months time. And for the time being, I am resting in a way I deserved after having served with various newspaper, including the New Straits Times which I left four years as a News Editor.

And on the race issue, I hope the latest announcement by the government can resolved the matter that the next time my grandchildren filled up application forms there will be Kadazan, Dusun listed in the column for Race/Bangsa.

The announcement by the government yesterday as reported HERE.

NRD To Resolve Status Of Applications In Five Categories Soon

PUTRAJAYA, July 8 -- The National Registration Department will resolve status of applications in five categories soon, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

He said the five categories were citizenship, permanent residency, absence of birth certificates, those concerning people of Sabah and Sarawak and street children.

"These matters must be resolved quickly as there have been cases where applicants have waited years for an answer. This is not a good situation, especially for stateless people," he told a press conference here Wednesday.

He added that if the people concerned passed security vetting, the government would approve their applications.



I am of mixed race. My father's father was an Illocano from Zambonga. He married a Murut woman from Jempangah, Beaufort. He was born in 1908 in Labuan. My mother's father is a Brunei Malay who married a Kelantanese woman longtime residence of Brunei. My mother was born in Kg Ayer, Jesselton. I grew up a Bruneian Malay with a Filipino name on my birth cert. I went to a GPS Tg Aru, a Malay School and further to an English School.
After form Five aged 18, I applied for a government post as a technician and was called for an interview.
When it was my turn, I was asked by one interviewer, a Chinese, if I was a citizen. Naturally I replied in the affirmative as my IC and birth cert showed. He retorted that my name indicated I came by boat! I felt a huge lump in my throat. The other interviewer, a Dusun (Datuk Andu) sitting next responded, " He is a native, for sure. I know his father and mother" and began to relate all that what he knew. My tears welled down my eyes having been saved from further insults.
Nevertheless I got the job, thanks to Datuk Andu.

I gather, there are a lot of discrimination then and now. We have been independent for 46 years now and yet none of our leaders had done anything to narrow our differences.
It was because of these we lost grip of our state permanently and allowing "others", non-Sabahan, to take control of our wealth and destiny. We got manipulated and now 'imported' citizen are used to maintain their power.
To all my fellow Sabahans, sum up the similarities,minus the differences, that will be our strength for our generations.

Anonymous said...

...King Cup tabik sama lu wahai Pangait!

Broken Tajau,
Gunung Kinabalu