Amend constitution to allow Orang Asli to enjoy privilages

By Bernama

PENAMPANG: The United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) has called on the Barisan Nasional (BN) government to amend the Federal Constitution to enable the Orang Asli, alongside the Malays and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak, to enjoy special privileges.

Upko president Bernard Dompok said under Article 153 of the Federal Constitution, there was a clear reference to the special privileges of the Malays and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak but there was no mention of the Orang Asli.

“It is a gross oversight by those who drafted the constitution. I feel that the BN government, when it obtains a two-third majority in the Dewan Rakyat, should table an amendment to the Federal Constitution for this purpose,” he said in his keynote address when opening the Upko national convention at the Sabah Cultural Centre, here today.

On the issue of “ketuanan” (supremacy), Dompok said it was a word that should not exist anymore.

“In Sabah the last ‘tuan’ left in 1963 and in fact in the peninsula, they should have left in 1957.”

“Some have attempted to explain that the word does not have any connotation of racial superiority or claiming to be superior. Yet others have attempted to explain it away by saying that it refers to the position of the sultans and the rulers,” he said.

Dompok said the explanation was unsatisfactory because the rulers’ position as constitutional monarchs “must certainly mean they are rulers for all Malaysians and must therefore safeguards the rights of all the races in this country.”

“That’s why this party must support all the more the 1Malaysia policy which the prime minister has initiated,” he said.

Touching on the civil service in the country, Dompok said it was necessary for the government to look into it to ensure that “the colours of Malaysia” were reflected in the appointment of officers at all levels of administration.

“It has to be a civil service that should see that Orang Asli and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak working hand in hand with the Malays, Indians and Chinese to man the delivery system of this country.

“There may of course be a difference in the manpower provided by each community since population sizes vary. But the service must be a 1Malaysia civil service,” he said.

– Bernama