In Defense of the Sabah Mufti


Jurucakap GANASThe Sabah State Mufti is being accused of promoting enmity between Muslims and non-Muslims in Sabah is totally blown out of proportion and myopic.  As head administrator of the Sharia (a body of Islamic laws) in Sabah, his message presented in the Symposium at Putrajaya titled “The Malay Agenda in the Leadership Crisis” is actually meant for the Bumiputera Muslims and has nothing to do with the Bumiputera non-Muslims in Sabah.  His basic idea was for strengthening the Bumiputra Muslims in Sabah through unification of all Muslims as Malay.  Therefore if there is anyone who is offended by his statement, it should be the Bumiputera Muslims in Sabah and not the Bumiputera non-Muslims.

I believe, it is not the Mufti’s intention to create animosity amongst the people in Sabah but it is his desire that Muslims and their interest in Sabah are well protected.  In response to his statement, the Sabah State Government quickly absolves itself from the Mufti’s statement.  Such statement from the State Government reflects cowardly act and the irresponsibility of its leaders towards its head of Sharia in Sabah.  Unfortunately, as a Muslim by this action the Chief Minister of Sabah clearly shows his level of ignorance over the Muslim faith.  It is obvious as one of the leader of the Muslim faith in Sabah; it is the Mufti’s duties and responsibilities to protect the interest of all Muslims in Sabah irrespective of their ethnic background.  This duties and responsibilities is the same as any other head of religious order present in Sabah in protecting their flocks.

In addition to this, the local paper (Borneo Post 13.10.2013) was reporting that in view of the Eid al-Adha, the Mufti apologized for his statement after he has been directed by the Federal Cabinet to do so.  This is an interesting development because such directive means that the Federal Cabinet can directly intervene into Sabah Muslim affairs whilst the State Cabinet remains a mere puppet.  The most appropriate authority to reprimand the Mufti is either the Tuan Yang DiPertua Negeri Sabah (TYT) or in the event the TYT cannot do so it should be the Duli Yang Maha Mulia Yang DiPertuan Agong (DYMM) – Not the State or the Federal Cabinet.

But then again what is wrong with his statements?  As mention above the Mufti’s statements were for the Bumiputera Muslims in Sabah – why do the Sabah none Muslims take offence on the Mufti’s statements? As the head of the Sharia in Sabah the Mufti speaks in accordance to the law (not just the Sharia law because the Sharia respects the Common law as well).

It must be acknowledge that there is a major problem in defining the term “Natives” in Sabah; however, there is no such problem in defining “Muslims” in Malaysia and specifically in Sabah.  In view of the absence of a proper definition for the term “Native” in Sabah, we therefore have to look at it from the “Legal Point of View”.

Indigenous people are generally peoples defined “in international or national legislation as having a set of specific rights based on their historical ties to a particular territory, and their cultural or historical distinctiveness from other populations that are often politically dominant.”  This simply means to make a claim as the indigenous people one must be recognized in “international and national legislation” and in addition they are must also be politically dominant.  This means that the “Natives” must be properly defined within the law and such “Native” must have the political will and power to create or amended these laws according to the democratic rules.

The United Nations have issued a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to guide member-state national policies; this however must not be mis-construed as the legal definition that should be adopted universally.  Even the definition provided by the United Nation still requires local legislations to be amended because “a General Assembly Declaration it is not a legally binding instrument under international law”.  In the case of Malaysia, the Malaysia Constitution is just one part which may define what a “Native” is.  The other part is the State Constitution and Legislation which must be amended to take into consideration the proper definition of the term “Native”.

Granted a particular term may be recorded historically to denote “Native” but it may not necessarily be a term legally accepted in the country or internationally.  Some may make claim that such term may have been used “since time immemorial” as such it should be legally accepted however such term are just a writer definition to describe a particular community as a way of elaborating a particular point, it does not mean it has the force of the law to back it up as required by the United Nation.

Therefore it is important to examine and analyses the definition from the legal point of view as it is stated in the Malaysia Constitution, the Sabah State Constitution and finally the Interpretation (Definition of Native) Ordinance 1952.

Malaysia Constitution

Article 153

(1) It shall be the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities in accordance with the provisions of this Article.

(2) (9A) In this Article the expression “natives” in relation to the State of Sabah or Sarawak shall have the meaning assigned to it in Article 161A

 Article 161A

(6) In this Article “native” means:-

(a) In relation. to Sarawak, a person who is a citizen and either belongs to one of the races specified in Clause (7) as indigenous to the State or is of mixed blood deriving exclusively from those races; and

(b) In relation to Sabah, a person who is a citizen, is the child or grandchild of a person of a race indigenous to Sabah, and was born (whether on or after Malaysia Day or not) either in Sabah or to a father domiciled in Sabah at the time of the birth.

 (7) The races to be treated for the purposes of the definition of “native” in Clause (6) as indigenous to Sarawak are the Bukitans, Bisayahs, Dusuns, Sea Dayaks, Land Dayaks, Kadayans, Kalabit, Kayans, Kenyags (Including Sabups and Sipengs), Kajangs (including Sekapans, Kejamans, Lahanans, Punans, Tanjongs dan Kanowits), Lugats, Lisums, Malays, Melanos, Muruts, Penans, Sians, Tagals, Tabuns and Ukits.

Please note that the definition of “Native” in the Malaysia Constitution especially for Sabah is opaque; there were no mention of the word Kadazan, Dusun, Murut, Rungus, or any other 40 odd ethnic groups or its sub-groups.  Compared this to Sarawak which is clear in defining “Natives”, in Article 161A sub-section (7) the definition for “Native” includes all the main ethnic groups as well as its sub-ethnic groups.

In order to clarify the anomalies in the Malaysia Constitution we then have to refer to the Sabah State Constitution and the Interpretation (Definition of Native) Ordinance Cap 64 1952.

The Sabah State Constitution

In the Sabah State Constitution, under Part V General Provision

Article 41 Safeguarding position of Native, states that

(10) In this Article, “Native” means a person who is a citizen, is the child or grandchild or a person indigenous to the State, and was born (whether on or after Malaysia Day or not) either in the State or to a father domiciled in the State at the time of the birth.

Again in the Sabah State Constitution the definition of “Native” is not clear, it only state “Native” as a person indigenous to the State”.  Therefore who is a person indigenous to the State” there is no clear definition of “indigenous” in the Sabah State Constitution.  In the absence of a clear definition in the Malaysia Constitution and the Sabah State Constitution, we have to resort to the Interpretation (Definition of Native) Ordinance Cap 64 1952 to seek the proper definition of the word “indigenous”.

Interpretation (Definition of Native) Ordinance Cap 64 1952

In this Ordinance the definition comes in Section 2

Interpretation

2. (1) Wherever the word “native”, used as a substantive, occurs in any written law in force at the commencement of this Ordinance, other than the Ordinances set out in the Schedule to this Ordinance, or in any written law coming into force after the commencement of this Ordinance, unless expressly otherwise enacted therein, it shall mean either –

(a)          any person both of whose parents are or were members of a people indigenous to Sabah; or

(b)          any person ordinarily resident in Sabah and being and living as a member of a native community, one at least of whose parents or ancestors is or was a native within the meaning of paragraph (a) hereof; or

(c)          any person who is ordinarily resident in Sabah, is a member of the Suluk, Kagayan, Simonol, Sibutu or Ubian people or of a people indigenous to the State of Sarawak or the State of Brunei, has lived as and been a member of a native community for a continuous period of three years preceding the date of his claim to be a native, has borne a good character throughout that period and whose stay in Sabah is not limited under any of the provisions of the Immigration Act, 1959/63 [Act 155.]:

Provided that if one of such person’s parents is or was a member of any such people and either lives or if deceased is buried or reputed to be buried in Sabah, then the qualifying period shall be reduced to two years; or

(d)          any person who is ordinarily resident in Sabah, is a member of a people indigenous to the Republic of Indonesia or the Sulu group of islands in the Philippine Archipelago or the States of Malaya or the Republic of Singapore, has lived as and been a member of a native community for a continuous period of five years immediately preceding the date of his claim to be a native, has borne a good character throughout that period and whose stay in Sabah is not limited under any of the provisions of the Immigration Act, 1959/63 [Act 155.].

The above Section 2 sub-sections (1) and (2) did not mention specifically the various ethnic and sub-ethnic groups within this Ordinance compared to how it was defined in Sarawak.  This is necessary to state clearly and irrevocably who are the “Natives” of Sabah, this is to avoid ambiguity which may result in misinterpretation amongst the various ethnic communities in Sabah.  Again in this Ordinance, the only reference made is to a person indigenous to the State”.  This is perhaps one of the reasons for Syed Kechik bin Syed Mohamed vs the Government of Malaysia won his case to travel freely to and out of Sabah, because he was already declared a “Native” by the Native Court by virtue of Section (3)(2) of the Interpretation (Definition of Native) Ordinance Cap 64 1952.

Who then are then the indigenous people of Sabah? As we can see from the above, the Malaysia Constitution, the Sabah State Constitution and the Interpretation (Definition of Native) Ordinance Cap 64 1952 did not clearly state who the “Native” of Sabah are.

Simply assuming that the Kadazan, Dusun, Murut and Rungus (KDMR) are those referred to as “a person indigenous to the State” is wrong.  This is because beside the KDMR there are over 40 other ethnic and sub-ethnic groups in Sabah with their own diverse dialects, their historical ties, and their cultural or historical distinctiveness.  Is it therefore right for the KDMR to claim that they are exclusively the “people indigenous to Sabah”?  The 40 other ethnic and sub-ethnic communities in Sabah can make similar claim as well.

Compared the laws pertaining to the “indigenous people” in Sabah with that the laws in Sarawak which clearly define and list “people indigenous to Sarawak”, claiming that the KDMR is representing the indigenous groupings of communities in Sabah may not be correct as well because in the eyes of the law they simply do not exist.

Kadazan the “invented Race”

It is therefore safe to conclude; when it comes to the law, the definition of the “Natives” is opaque.  As the result the issue of the Kadazan as an “invented race” does not arise because it has been determines that such definition does not exist in any of the Sabah State Legislations.

Herman Luping in his doctorate dissertation acknowledges that the word Kadazaan and Dusun were controversial, for which he elaborated

The terms Kadazan and Dusun have become a controversial political issue. In Sabah, even today, the similar speech communities are divided over the use of either Kadazan or Dusun to refer to themselves. Advocates for the use of the name Kadazan are generally those from the Penampang-Papar-Kimanis groups of people, whilst people of the Kudat and interior areas’ including Tuaran, prefer to call themselves Dusun”.

It is clear that not everyone accepted the term Kadazan as their race then as well as today.  It is therefore wrong to assume the word Kadazan is universally accepted in Sabah.  However, there will be dissatisfied perpetrators who will claim that this is a Muslim conspiracy to split the “indigenous” people.

These perpetrators tend to forget that the word Kadazan was used (reused) by Donald Stephen in 1960’s.  Also mentioned in Herman Luping’s dissertation that Donald Stephen acknowledges he uses the word Kadazan was a gamble and to give “local flavor” to the same speech people:

“Tun Stephens’ reply to this was that it was a gamble they took and that the use of the term “Kadazan” was not inappropriate. He explained that the term “Kadazan” was used in order to give a “local flavour” to the name of the same speech people – the Kadazanic people. After all, “North Borneo was also to be changed to “Sabah”, the original name for North Borneo.”

This was Donald Stephen contention to use the term “Kadazan” as a uniting factor for political mobilization of the Dusunic and Murutic tribes in Sabah.  Is it then wrong for the Sabah’s Mufti to unite all the Muslims in Sabah under the banner of being Malay?  The term “Kadazan” was not even officially recognized by the North Borneo Chartered Company as well as when the Sabah administration was taken over by the colonial office in London.

The North Borneo Chartered Company or the Colonial Office administration in Sabah did not emphasize the word “Kadazan” in their annual report.  From 1949 to 1960 only the word Dusun was used in their annual census (see various official gazettes from 1949 to 1960).  It was only after the 1960 that the word “Dusun/Kadazan” appeared in the annual census.  This supports the claim that Donald Stephen “reinvents” the word in 1961 when they started the Kadazan political movements amidst objections from the Lotud people from Tuaran and the Interiors.

As asserted by Herman Luping other communities objected to using the word Kadazan:

The political party formed in 1961 was called the United Kadazan National 0rganisation (UNK0). 0pposition to the use of the term Kadazan came very strongly from the Tuaran Lotud people and at first also from the Kuijau group of Keningau”.

According to the same writer in his interview with Datuk Ghani Gilong of Ranau that Datuk Ghani Gilong was present when Datuk Sundang objected to the calling of the first part the “United Kadazan Organisation”, Datuk Ghani Gilong admit he objected to the use of the term “Kadazan”, but went along because he was “out-voted”.

As the result of these dissatisfaction eventually led to the formation of the Dusun-Lotud Association in Tuaran and the United Sabah Dusun Association (USDA).  Realizing these issues Datuk Herman Luping instead of accepting that there were problems in uniting the Kadazan and Dusunic communities, he still insist that all these are the work of the Sabah Muslim conspirators against the Kadazan unity.

By December 1967 only the Sabah Kadazan Cultural Association and the United Sabah Dusun Association (USDA) survived and both claim to represent the Kadazan/ Dusun communities and as asserted by Herman Luping The controversy regarding the terms Kadazan and Dusun has therefore continued and the search for a common label and identity is still not resolved”.

Following the above argument the Sabah’s Mufti statement pertaining to the Kadazan being an “invented race” is not wrong compared to the apathy shown by the Kadazan own leaders who claim to have the Kadazan’s/ Dusun’s welfare close to their hearts yet failed to entrench the position of their people even after being reminded and when they have the authority and means to do so.

It is not just the recognition of the Kadazan community in the eyes of the law which is at stake here but to all that can be categorized as “a person indigenous to the State”.

This is not something new, in the summary of Cobbold Commission reports the following was mentioned:-

We recommend that the provisions should apply to those citizens who are regarded as natives within the meaning of the Interpretation (Definition of Native) Ordinance of North Borneo (see Appendix D), and in the case of Sarawak those citizens who are regarded as natives within the meaning of Section 3 of the Interpretation Ordinance, 1953 (see Appendix D). We recommend for consideration that the Ordinance in the two territories should be reviewed with the object of bringing them into line for this purpose and we suggest that it might be advantageous to widen slightly the application so as to include certain other categories.

Similar recommendations and views was given by the Inter-Government Committee (IGC) Report 1962.

Both these documents highlighted and recommended that the Interpretation (Definition of Native) Ordinance Cap 64 1952 be reviewed and reconcile them to ensure that the definition is clear and that these will put to rights with the definition in both the Malaysia Constitution and the Sabah State Constitution.  Unfortunately these counsels were never acted upon by past and present leaders in Sabah.

In the 50 years after the formation of Malaysia, the Kadazan/ Dusun community was given the opportunity not just once but 3 times to make the necessary changes to the Interpretation (Definition of Native) Ordinance Cap 64 which inter alia would include a proper definition of “Native” and to the 40 ethnic and sub-ethnic groups living in Sabah.  This opportunity came in 1963 to 1964 when Donald Stephen was the Chief Minister and in 1985 to 1994 when Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan was the Chief Minister and for a short while when Tan Sri Bernard Giluk Dompok was the Chief Minister 1998 to 1999.  None of them care or even bothered to make the recommended changes to the Interpretation (Definition of Native) Ordinance Cap 64 and bring it to the Dewan Undangan Negeri Sabah for adoption.

Therefore, how can the Kadazan community says that they are offended when it is called the “invented race” when the reality is that in the eyes of the law they simply do not exist.

In the case of accusing the Mufti’s “Malaynise” the state’s non-Muslim Bumiputera is also blown out of proportion.  I believe the statement was meant for the Sabah Bumiputera Muslims, the fact that the Sabah’s non-Muslim Bumiputera is offended makes no sense at all.  If the Bumiputera Muslims are offended then they should have brought the issue to the Sharia Court because by the fact that they are Muslims they have accepted the Sharia rulings.  Bringing such issue to the Native Court is like converting a Muslim into a Pagan.

It is therefore inappropriate for the Native Court to summon the Mufti who is the head of the Sharia court in Sabah to answer any charges in the Native Court.  The situation is better served when the Head of the Native Court advised the plaintiffs against taking such action and the Head of the Native should made an effort to resolve the issue with the Mufti personally.  The current events shows clearly that the Head of the Native Court themselves can be manipulated to serve the interest of the few community leaders for some political mileage at the expense of their own community.  The most appropriate authority to arbitrate between the Native Court and the Sharia Court is either the TYT or the DYMM – not the people or the Chief of the Native Court – these people are making the mockery of the Native Court, the Sharia Court, the TYT and the DYMM.  These perpetrators and those in cahoots in the Native Court for demonizing the Sabah Mufti should instead be arrested for their irresponsible actions.

This statement to “Malaynised” the Bumiputera Muslim in Sabah is also nothing new; the earliest person to acknowledge this was Herman Luping when he wrote in his doctoral thesis in 1985

“The Islamised Kadazans began to assert a separate identity for themselves and to see themselves as a distinct ethnic group. In time, they started to call themselves “Malays” (as did indigenous converts to Islam in Sarawak to the south) as the term “Malay”

Therefore what is the meaning of “Saman Malu” filed by the Kadazan Society Sabah (KSS) at the Penampang district chief office of OKK (Orang Kaya Kaya) Christoper Mojungkim towards Bungsu@Aziz Jaaafar?  Do the perpetrators realize that Bungsu@Aziz Jaafar is the Mufti of Sabah and the head of the Sharia Court?  They are filing the “Saman Malu” for bringing shame to the Kadazan community? Or was the Mufti merely pointing out to the Kadazan community that their legal status as an indigenous people in Sabah requires a deeper contemplation and reflection.

If there is any “saman malu” to be done then the KDMR community should file it towards their present Huguan Siou or their past leaders who did not make any changes to the Interpretation (Definition of Native) Ordinance Cap 64 1952 even when they have the chance and the political power to do so.

Solution to this Stalemate

It is very clear from the above that in the eyes of the law the term Kadazan, Dusun, Murut and Rungus and the 40 other ethnic and sub-ethnic group does not exist.  The Dusun and the Murut is in a better position than the Kadazan because they can still refer themselves as the indigenous people from Sarawak.  The implications are to those that proudly claim themselves as Kadazan and insist that even the “Birth Certificate” of their children uses the none existence legal term “Kadazan”.  They face a future worse than the stateless children that can be found loitering throughout Sabah.  The bleak future awaits them and it is all because of the ignorance of their parents following myopic leaders.  Even now they are categorized as “lain-lain”.

How to solve this problem? The answer is very simple, all it takes is making the necessary amendments and changes to the Interpretation (Definition of Native) Ordinance Cap 64 1952 as pointed out in both the Cobbold Commission and the Inter-Government Committee Reports.  However, bringing this issue to the Sabah State Legislative Assembly may not be as simple as that.

The only way that the KDMR is going to be recognized internationally is for them to be first be recognized through national legislations.  The national legislation in Malaysia will depend on the state legislation in Sabah for its interpretation.  The legislation in Sabah pertaining to this issue is the Interpretation (Definition of Native) Ordinance 1952.  The law can only be amended IF the 32 Muslims law maker in the Dewan Undangan Negeri Sabah agrees to it or support it.  After humiliating the Sabah State Mufti and the whole of Islamic Jurisprudence, is it possible then for any right thinking Muslims in the Dewan Undangan Negeri Sabah to support such a move?

This is come about because; some ignorant and spontaneous perpetrators who accuse the Sabah Mufti of wrong doing.  They did not have an iota of common sense in them and totally having no foresight.  In addition, they supported by those in the Mahkamah Anak Negeri are unlettered, easily manipulated bunch of shamans.  In their haste to fault the Sabah State Mufti based on a statement that they did not understand, they humiliate the Sabah State Mufti and the whole Islamic Jurisprudence by dragging them to face decision of the Mahkamah Anak Negeri which for all intent and purposes is based on the Pagan laws.

As the Mufti in Sabah, it is his duty and responsibility to ensure the Ummah is protected by law and whatever welfare by law that they have a right to get then, they should get it.  This is nothing more than the duties and responsibilities of the head of any religious order in Sabah; they have the right to protect their flocks.  However, if there are Muslims in Sabah who does not want to understand the reasoning behind the Mufti’s “Niat” or intentions then they should not accuse the Mufti in Sabah for not doing his duties and responsibilities as provided under the law.

The Stalemate has reached a point where someone and somewhere have to give in.  The Sabah Mufti in accordance to the Eid Al-Adha occasion has “sacrificed” himself for the sake of the good and harmonious societies in Sabah.  I believe this is also the occasion for sacrifices to be made by all for the sake of Sabah.  The perpetrators should also apologize and retract their summons in the Mahkamah Anak Negeri and the “sogit” it requires.

Zainnal Ajamain

Zainnal Ajamain is an economist by profession, graduating with a Masters degree from the University of East Anglia. He has held several high ranking civil service positions in government and government think tanks and has worked as a university lecturer, senior researcher, stockbroker, economist and published several papers in international media journals. He was the co-author behind the Sabah Government’s vision for development and progress in the Sabah Development Corridor and created the first Offshore Islamic Fund in Labuan. He also held the position of Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems at the University Malaysia Sabah.  He was the Co-Founder of the United Borneo Front (UBF) and a passionate activist to abolish the Cabotage Policy.

Advertisements

16 Responses to In Defense of the Sabah Mufti

  1. I don’t wanna be Malay.NO WAY! It does affects the non-muslims coz they too have relatives(sister/brothers). Sda la banyak cabaran mualaf..this mufti kasi tambah masalah. Pentingkan diri..u think u’re going to heaven la being like this. tambah dosa menyusahkan keadaan orang

    • sifusiber says:

      It is actually up to them, if you read the article by En Zainnal you would have observe he quoted Herman Luping in saying how Herman Luping viewed Kadazans who have been converted to Islam. This observation was made before 1985.

      • paling bagus kan..as u wrote “protect his flock” jaga dulu itu fellow muslims n muslimah…bimbing supaya x tggl 5 waktu..lebihkan beramal than just making a mess of everything. have u visited the prison lately..stats there says more muslims than non-muslims there….y?coz they x cukup ajaran agama. simple as that. so what if the observation ws from 1985?dulu2 u can kasi biar your pintu rumah berbuka klu p rumah sebelah..skrng klu x hati2 kena rompak. zaman berubah boi…kita tambah ilmu agama dulu sesama daripada mo bikin hal di luar. ~sorry my manglish kluar.

        • sifusiber says:

          This is exactly apa tu Mufti buat, saranan beliau kepada Muslimin dan Muslimat. Kenapa yang bukan Muslim pula tersinggong? Ini yang tidak faham ni. Kalau ramai yang suda jadi perompak dan penyamun bukan disebabkan kurang pelajaran agama semata-mata. Keadaan ekonomi juga menjadi faktor utama yang mendorong manusia menjadi pencuri dan penyamun.

          • becoz non-muslim pun ada kaitan dgn muslim. they can be parents/brothers/sister..are u a mualaf?do u know how it feels to know ur non-muslim parents yg jaga dri bby all the sleepless nights they took care of u until habis skolah pastu tu msk islam because dpt hidayah?sy pun hidup susah but i’m not that jahil to steal. ada hukum halal haram..ada rezeki berkat ada rezeki tiada berkat..it’s just ur alasan to say faktor ekonomi,…..kalau ada ajaran agama..faham la mana satu salah mana stu betul…lgpun apaguna baitulmal..segala bantuan yg dri zakat? kemana sgala duit jutaan itu? syaitan mendorong manusia buat benda2 jahat..bukan ekonomi. I may not have hafal d quran yet…but i understnd the stories and teachings. Islam is peace don’t spread hatred.

            • sifusiber says:

              Pertama sekali apabila orang memilih agama masing masing mereka rela, seperti kata anda mereka mendapat hidayah dan bukan kerana hadiah. Tiada paksaan didalam Islam, sekiranya mereka tidak rela memeluk Islam namun memanggil diri mereka Islam ini bererti mereka menggunakan Islam sebagai topeng untuk memndapatkan habuan. Jangan menggunakan diri sebagai contoh bagaimana anda susah pun tidak tergamak mencuri, oleh kerana lebih ramai orang yang hidup lebih teruk daripada anda. Kejahatan manusia akan timbul bukan sekadar didikan agama semata mata namun seperti saya katakan disebabkan oleh keadaan ekonomi yang meruncing sehingga tidak mampu untuk menyara hidup anak anak mereka. Betul Baitumaal boleh membantu namun ini bukan menyeluruh, sila periksa dulu kemampuan Baitulmaal sebelum membuat tuduhan yang mereka boleh mengatasi segala kemiskinan di muka bumi Sabah.
              Menghafal sahaja tanpa memahami bukan tujuan al quran, oleh kerana anda mengakui anda masih jahil – Islam means submission – to the will of Allah – It is simple to understand but difficult to practice – after all we are all humans. But as humans with all the failings don’t use Australia’s email when the IP is form Kota Kinabalu.

              • an awesome thing..u deleted my reply. thnx alot.

                • sifusiber says:

                  Sorry we don’t entertain griping

  2. I am a non Muslim Kadazan. Your arguments in defense of the Mufti may seem warranted and legit on the surface but that doesn’t change the fact that it is an insult to my race and has nothing to do with religion whatsoever.
    I feel deeply offended because it reeks of politics. I am upset because it directly affects me, my family and most of my close friends.
    My sister is a Kadazan Muslim. Should she and her children now call themselves Malay? If so what of their native status. Malay is not a indigenous race in Sabah and as such are not permitted to own native lands and so forth. Once we allow and acknowledge that Malays are an indigenous race then that would just take away another of our native safeguards and leave us open to more abuse from the Malaya Bumiputeras.
    I recognise Islam and respect all who practice the religion. But the Mufti steered away from religious discussion by discusing race when the religion doesn’t bother about such differences. If the Mufti cannot understand the pain his words have caused, how can he lead people in a religion of love, peace and empathy?

    • sifusiber says:

      What is political when all the Mufti is doing is to protect his flocks. I can understand the reason for you being upset and you ask a pertinent question “..so what of their native status?”. This should be the crux of the problem, but many people in Sabah especially from the KDM community have taken for granted that they are the “Native” in Sabah. To be honest the list of “Natives” have never been gazetted into the Interpretation (Definition of Native) Ordinance Cap64 1952. There are a staggering 178 people groups in Sabah. Kadazan Dusun have 91 sub-group whilst Murut have 29 sub-group and Sungai 28 sub-groups. This issue is nothing new, in 1962 the Cobbold Commission acknowledge this and highlight that the law be amended and streamlined. Donald Stephen failed to amend them, Pairin and PBS government failed to amend them and Dompok as well. The most recent, this issue was raised in the RCI hearing but then again no body cares.

      In my opinion the Mufti in trying to save his flock, apply the term “Malay” to Muslim indigenous people in Sabah. As to the reason the Kadazan Society of Sabah (KSS) jumps to humiliate the Mufti in the Native Court is anybody’s guess (political as well perhaps). Because the Native Court ruling is based on “Adat” to drag the Mufti to the Native Court is NOT based on “Adat” rather by run away emotions. If the basis is “Adat” the Native Court judge pacify the situation. The Native Court judge on the other hand instead of advising the plaintiffs to reason, conspire to bring the Mufti to the Native Court as well. Imagine dragging the Head of Sharia to the Native Court what will the Muslims in Sabah and in Malaysia will feel?

      Bear in mind even the State Cabinet including the Chief Minister and the Federal Cabinet washes their hand of the issue and left the Mufti in the middle of a emotionally charge mob frenzy. There was no more voice of reason. It is for this purpose we as a group intervene. We see enough irresponsible acts by our leaders in Sabah and being a coward to not standing up to a problem and resolve it amicably. We therefore brought up an issue which is nothing new but a major pain to all our leaders in Sabah – it is because they don’t want to decide and take responsibility. Pressure these leaders to amend the Interpretation (Definition of Native) Ordinance Cap64 1952 in the Dewan Undangan Negeri Sabah next sitting.

      How then will all these impact Sabah’s society in general? If we don’t step in, animosity may arise amongst the diverse community in Sabah and especially the Muslim community will be angry in silence (their Mufti being dragged to Native Court remember?). They may eventually respond by NOT approving any amendments to the Interpretation (Definition of Native) Ordinance Cap64 1952 when it is finally being tabled at the Dewan Undangan Negeri Sabah. The question about “what is the status of the Natives?” will forever be asked.

      • I feel that this still doesn’t justify his remarks. I agree that there has to be a clear line with regards to whom are the natives to establish clear cut native rights and privileges. Since when in the history of this world that just because you are a practicing a certain religion then you can choose to also change your race? One does not have anything to do with the other at all. And as a native the Mufti does have to answer under the jurisdiction of the Native Court. Whether the charges against him are warranted or not is also another matter entirely, but it has nothing to do with his religion, only his actions.

        The natives of Sabah has been here before the formation of Malaysia and have been known by their respective tribes for generations before. It is extremely unfair and uncalled for to say that we should just change “to save” us. Do you seriously think a Muslim native in Sabah has to be “saved”? Are they being oppressed by their non-Muslim parents, brother, sister, uncles, aunts, cousins, neighbours etc..?

        It is however, in my humble opinion, dangerous to establish a non-existent Malay race of natives as it carries with it the natives from peninsula which would diminish the actual Sabahan natives in a place where we already feel like an endangered race in our own home land. They would be able to purchase (the already low number of) native title lands but by your argument exempt from native laws.

        When I say that it reeks of politics, that is exactly what I mean. Are the Malays the only ones that the government should take care of and all us natives are just second class citizens? If so, than I am living in what is essentially racist and backward country. I hope for my children’s sake that this is not true. But I stray from the subject at hand.

        To quote my Muslim cousin “He asserts that non muslims have no business being offended by a wide ranging policy that would change the identity of the state, divide families and turn illegals into locals overnight.

        The writer also asserts thats the State Mufti is only answerable to the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong and the TYT and does not have to answer to local government beyond the abovementioned TYT. If you are not either one of these then you have no right to complain to the mufti.

        He cites International Law, Article 153, Article 161A and the Sabah Constitution to prove that Kadazans, Dusuns and Rungus do not exist. And further states
        “Simply assuming that the Kadazan, Dusun, Murut and Rungus (KDMR) are those referred to as “a person indigenous to the State” is wrong. This is because beside the KDMR there are over 40 other ethnic and sub-ethnic groups in Sabah with their own diverse dialects, their historical ties, and their cultural or historical distinctiveness. Is it therefore right for the KDMR to claim that they are exclusively the “people indigenous to Sabah”? The 40 other ethnic and sub-ethnic communities in Sabah can make similar claim as well.”
        Essentially saying because we were not listed that everyone can claim “indigenous person to the state” so now we cant claim and to protect Bumiputera-Muslims of Kadazan, Murut or Rungus heritage, better for them to be Malay.

        This is bullshit covered in legalese.”

        • sifusiber says:

          I feel that this still doesn’t justify his remarks. I agree that there has to be a clear line with regards to whom are the natives to establish clear cut native rights and privileges. Since when in the history of this world that just because you are a practicing a certain religion then you can choose to also change your race? One does not have anything to do with the other at all. And as a native the Mufti does have to answer under the jurisdiction of the Native Court. Whether the charges against him are warranted or not is also another matter entirely, but it has nothing to do with his religion, only his actions.

          >>Did you read the Malaysia Constitution? If you have not then I advise you to read the Constitution and understand it. As I have explained the Mufti was referring to the indigenous Muslims. If the indigenous Muslims feel offended by the Mufti’s statement then they should bring it up to the Mufti via the Sharia Court and NOT the Native Court. As Muslims they are bound by the Sharia Law are they not?

          The natives of Sabah has been here before the formation of Malaysia and have been known by their respective tribes for generations before. It is extremely unfair and uncalled for to say that we should just change “to save” us. Do you seriously think a Muslim native in Sabah has to be “saved”? Are they being oppressed by their non-Muslim parents, brother, sister, uncles, aunts, cousins, neighbours etc..?

          >>This question should be “Is Sabah needing to be saved?”, As Mufti his jurisdiction extend only to the Muslims, therefore that is his specific target. If the head of other religious order wants to do the same then it is their prerogative. It is not a question of the Muslims are being oppressed by the none Muslims – you are implying that NOT the Mufti.

          It is however, in my humble opinion, dangerous to establish a non-existent Malay race of natives as it carries with it the natives from peninsula which would diminish the actual Sabahan natives in a place where we already feel like an endangered race in our own home land. They would be able to purchase (the already low number of) native title lands but by your argument exempt from native laws.

          >>For this statement, then I think you should read Syed Kechik bin Syed Mohamed vs the Government of Malaysia, I believe En Zainnal quoted this case. How is it that he was made a Native.

          When I say that it reeks of politics, that is exactly what I mean. Are the Malays the only ones that the government should take care of and all us natives are just second class citizens? If so, than I am living in what is essentially racist and backward country. I hope for my children’s sake that this is not true. But I stray from the subject at hand.

          >>You think that you are the only one with the problem? The whole of Sabah is having the same problem, it does not matter from which ethnic group you come from or which religious denomination you believe in. You are displaying poor judgment here.

          To quote my Muslim cousin “He asserts that non muslims have no business being offended by a wide ranging policy that would change the identity of the state, divide families and turn illegals into locals overnight.

          >>So what is your problem here?

          The writer also asserts thats the State Mufti is only answerable to the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong and the TYT and does not have to answer to local government beyond the abovementioned TYT. If you are not either one of these then you have no right to complain to the mufti.

          >>The Mufti is appointed by the TYT and the DYMM Agong is the head of Islam in this country (the reality is, all the Sultans and the TYTs of each state). The Cabinet State or Federal has no power over the Mufti.

          He cites International Law, Article 153, Article 161A and the Sabah Constitution to prove that Kadazans, Dusuns and Rungus do not exist. And further states
          “Simply assuming that the Kadazan, Dusun, Murut and Rungus (KDMR) are those referred to as “a person indigenous to the State” is wrong. This is because beside the KDMR there are over 40 other ethnic and sub-ethnic groups in Sabah with their own diverse dialects, their historical ties, and their cultural or historical distinctiveness. Is it therefore right for the KDMR to claim that they are exclusively the “people indigenous to Sabah”? The 40 other ethnic and sub-ethnic communities in Sabah can make similar claim as well.”

          >>Have you been following the RCI? Not interested, then I have news for you – please read paragraph 7 then think whether what is written is right or wrong. The issue is not to be distracted into a blame game rather what can be done to resolve this issue.

          Essentially saying because we were not listed that everyone can claim “indigenous person to the state” so now we cant claim and to protect Bumiputera-Muslims of Kadazan, Murut or Rungus heritage, better for them to be Malay.

          This is bullshit covered in legalese.”
          >>All I can say is – ignorant of the law is no excuse.

          • Yea. Perhaps I am ignorant of the law and could educate myself further on it (in fact I will make it a point to do so from now on). But I still stand on what I said. This statement was made to gain political favour and nothing else. It is not a matter of religion but race and as ugly as it seems it is extremely racist to undermine one race in favour of another because the that is the gist of what he said.
            Regardless of the status of the Sabahan natives, the Malay race has never been one of them. And as a country of multiple races and religions, can you honestly say that what happens between the native Muslims won’t effect the rest of the other natives as well?
            Just because a person embraces Islam in this country doesn’t and shouldn’t give them a the right to be another race than the one they were born to.
            I say all this with a fervent passion not because I am a disgruntled Christian or a disgruntled native and you may find my point of view stupid or naive, but I can’t, with all honesty, let something like this go in silence. My conscience would not allow it. And God forgive me but my native pride would not and cannot allow it to go unsaid either.
            So I commend you on your understanding of the law. But I cannot allow my race and my fellow Sabahans to be sold out. They are too dear to me to just wait in silence and hope that things will resolve themselves out.
            Wrong is wrong. What the Mufti said, with all due respect to his title and status as a religious leader, is wrong. Islam (to my limited understanding from my family and friends) is an inclusive religion, it has never asked anyone to be who they aren’t. It asks for faith and love towards your fellow man.
            So, as I am a simple man with simple thoughts and (obviously) little understanding of the law, I’ll summarise as my simple mind would allow. Take away the religious aspect of the whole thing (which is what I have been doing because I respect Islam as a religion and find that it is as flawless as mine is) and what you have is a native man telling others to change their race because another race is better. That is insulting, misguided and frankly, dangerous.
            I believe that he should man up answer for his actions as a native man and not as a Mufti because like I said when I first commented on this “is an insult to my race and has nothing to do with religion whatsoever”.

            • sifusiber says:

              Yea. Perhaps I am ignorant of the law and could educate myself further on it (in fact I will make it a point to do so from now on). But I still stand on what I said. This statement was made to gain political favor and nothing else. It is not a matter of religion but race and as ugly as it seems it is extremely racist to undermine one race in favor of another because the that is the gist of what he said.

              >>This is the perception that you have against what was actually said, you made a judgment that is your problem. The Mufti calls on Muslims Sabahans and IF the non-Muslims are offended that is their problem – not the Mufti’s or the Sabah Muslims.

              Regardless of the status of the Sabahan natives, the Malay race has never been one of them. And as a country of multiple races and religions, can you honestly say that what happens between the native Muslims won’t affect the rest of the other natives as well?

              >>What happens to the native Muslims is the problem that they will resolve amongst them, there is no compulsion to accept or otherwise. If the non-Muslim Natives wants to help fine and if they don’t want to help is fine as well.

              Just because a person embraces Islam in this country doesn’t and shouldn’t give them a the right to be another race than the one they were born to.

              >>The choice is on the person to choose, why do you have problem with that?

              I say all this with a fervent passion not because I am a disgruntled Christian or a disgruntled native and you may find my point of view stupid or naive, but I can’t, with all honesty, let something like this go in silence. My conscience would not allow it. And God forgive me but my native pride would not and cannot allow it to go unsaid either.

              >>Why don’t you tell that to Malaya for the last 50 years? Why don’t you stand up and talk against being left behind disenfranchised and marginalized. Is this native pride or just false pride?

              So I commend you on your understanding of the law. But I cannot allow my race and my fellow Sabahans to be sold out. They are too dear to me to just wait in silence and hope that things will resolve themselves out.

              >>IF there is such thing as being sold out, it is definitely NOT the Mufti rather you should ask the Huguan Siou a.k.a Tan Sri Pairin Kitingan. He had his chance in 1985 to 1994 to make the necessary changes to the law – why didn’t he? What is his excuse now? The timing was not right? It is simpler to throw blame at other people, but it is bitter to accept the reality – Is this then the towering Native Pride?

              Wrong is wrong. What the Mufti said, with all due respect to his title and status as a religious leader, is wrong. Islam (to my limited understanding from my family and friends) is an inclusive religion, it has never asked anyone to be who they aren’t. It asks for faith and love towards your fellow man.

              >>Exactly and what the Mufti said were for the Sabah Muslims, there is no compulsion even for the Sabah Muslims. It is rightly up to them to accept or NOT to accept. Why then the other non-Muslim communities in Sabah feel offended, is it because the strong love with their fellow Sabahans? IF everyone in Sabah feels that way, then why after 50 years Sabah has the highest number of poor in this country, why is Sabah left far behind in main stream development? Is it because we don’t have political power? But if everyone feels so strongly about their fellow Sabahans, then Sabah should be politically powerful. Since Sabah is not that powerful, the simple answer is there is obviously NO solidarity.

              So, as I am a simple man with simple thoughts and (obviously) little understanding of the law, I’ll summarise as my simple mind would allow. Take away the religious aspect of the whole thing (which is what I have been doing because I respect Islam as a religion and find that it is as flawless as mine is) and what you have is a native man telling others to change their race because another race is better. That is insulting, misguided and frankly, dangerous.

              >>All I can say is “you can bring a horse to the water but you cannot make the horse to drink”. The Mufti did not force others to change their race you are making that one up. Now the question is do you have the political muscle to make the necessary changes? IF you don’t whose help are you going to ask? Think long and deep before you answer, but since you admit yourself as a man of simple thoughts – there is not much help there is it. Ignorance is also bliss.

              I believe that he should man up answer for his actions as a native man and not as a Mufti because like I said when I first commented on this “is an insult to my race and has nothing to do with religion whatsoever”.

              >>Who then is insulting your race? Don’t you realize your question so far is actually insulting yourself? I cannot help you to resolve that.

              • My simple mind sense that you are angry since your response are attacking me personally now. You have no idea what my beliefs, motivations and what my fights are. You have judged me to be ignorant and apathetic from my previous comments and I do not feel I deserve that but I am not about to explain or justify myself to you.
                You harp on about solidarity and the need to stand together but can’t respect the fact that I have a different opinion from you on this matter. A person is born into a race but raised into a religion. You can’t change that. An overseas Malay who converts out of Islam will always be a Malay just as a Muslim Chinese will always be Chinese. A race defines a persons heritage and ancestry whereas his religion defines his belief. There is a distinct difference between the two. One can convert religions (technically) but they can never change what they were born into. One thing I do agree and that you have made me realise is that I haven’t given my own people enough credit to know the difference. But it is a dark day for ALL Sabahans if what he proposes is taken seriously and implemented.
                I have respected this blog and it’s fight to highlight the struggles of the Sabahans, but on this matter I think we should just agree to disagree.
                I have used my real name and facebook profile in all these comments and welcome you if you want to discuss this with me personally as I am not that hard to find in Kota Kinabalu. Who knows? We could even be friends.
                May God bless you. Goodnight.

                • sifusiber says:

                  I am sorry if your simple mind perceived me as angry and your mind’s eye is picturing me attacking you. I cannot help when you think this way but I can advise you that these are symptoms of chronic paranoia and schizophrenic tendencies. Please seek professional help.
                  My statement was a response to your opinion and perceptions, there is no need for you to explain and justify.
                  My statement on solidarity is not harping because I use it once, not repeated many times. You should know right from the onset my opinion differs from yours, yet you turn around and accuse me of not respecting your opinion. Does this make any sense to you?
                  You keep on saying (this is harping because you say it repeatedly) race cannot be change – I think this is pretty obvious and everyone with a good common sense accepted that. A Dusun will always be a Dusun no matter how much you want to make a Kadazan out of him.
                  You are still thinking “it is a dark day for all Sabahans”, well, where have you been? Don’t you realize, events are happening all around you? This simply means that you are not even aware of these changes. To be honest you are still sleeping and what you see are just bad dreams.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: