‘Who is running the country?’

FMT Staff
May 10, 2011

A retired colonel from Malaysian Armed Forces is upset that a government policy regarding children of mixed mariages in Sarawak has not been implemented.

KUCHING: A storm is brewing over the non-implementation of a government directive regarding the “Bumiputera” status of children from mixed marriages in Sarawak.

An irate father, Suhirtharatnam Kularatnam, a former retired colonel in the Malaysian Armed Forces, is demanding to know “who is running the country” when government policies are not carried out.

“Why is the government directive acknowledging the children of mixed marriages in Sarawak as Bumiputeras not being implemented? Who is running this country? Is it the prime minister or is there someone else?” he asked.

Suhirtharatnam’s daughter, Teresa Clare, who scored 10As in last year’s Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, was not given a seat in the matriculation programme because she was not considered a “Bumiputera”.

Teresa’s mother Pauline is an Iban and the daughter of former Land and Mineral Resources Minister Francis Umpau.

Said Suhirtharatnam: “We were unaware of the constitutional issues involved until last year when the case of Marina Undau, whose father is Iban and mother Chinese, was publicised.

“Marina scored 9As (and 1B in her 2008 SPM examination), but like my daughter, she was not able to do matriculation because of her mixed parentage.”

Following Marina’s case which was widely reported here in October 2009, the government came out with an executive directive for Sarawak.

According to the directive, if one parent is a Bumiputera then the children automatically become Bumiputeras.

However, the implementation of the directive appeared to have been thwarted.

“This situation with my daughter should not arise. In fact, three other students are also in the same predicament,” said Suhirtharatnam, who retired after 34 years of serving in Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak.

‘I’m not asking for perks’

According to Suhirtharatnam, federal Natural Resources Deputy Minister Douglas Unggah has offered to take the matter up to the Cabinet.

“Unggah spoke to me on Saturday. He said he would take the matter up to the Cabinet. I don’t want to play this up. I am not asking for anything more than what my daughter deserves,” he said.

“She has done well and I have served this country as a responsible citizen.

“Teresa is the youngest of my four children. Since the government has agreed that the children of mixed marriages are Bumiputeras, the policy must be implemented correctly,” he said.

Suhirtharatnam said Teresa had applied to join the May 23 intake for the matriculation programme but her application was rejected.

The reason cited was that she was not a Bumiputera.

Following this, Suhirtharatnam went to the Education Ministry’s Matriculation Department in Putrajaya on May 4 to make an appeal.

But he was told that his daughter would be considered for the next intake on June 25.

Suhirtharatnam, however, is less irked about his daughter’s intake.

What bothers him more is the failure to implement government policies at ground level.

“I am not asking for perks and privileges. I just want to know what the government machinery has done to implement directives,” he said.

‘Stop segregation’

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Parents Consultative Grouping’s (Mapim) Sarawak chairman, Wan Zain Syed Mohdzar, has called for an end to Bumiputera classification for admissions into matriculation programmes and universities.

Wan Zain said that the segregation of the people into Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera should be stopped as it has “spoilt the concept of 1Malysia”.

He urged the education ministry to review the classification system and instead admit students strictly based on merit.

“Rejecting the application of students (into matriculation programmes) based on race is uncalled for,” he said.

Wan Zain, who is also a social activist, said that in Sarawak inter-marriages involving Bumiputera were common and children from such marriages were always considered Bumiputera.

“Inter-marriages in Sarawak are common since colonial days. Locals here have married Arabs, Indians, Pakistanis, Chinese and Europeans. Their children are regarded as Bumiputera and enjoy the facilities provided by the government.

“Some have even held high posts in the government, including those elected as assemblymen and MPs,” he said

  1. #1 by Cinapek on Wednesday, 11 May 2011 - 10:34 am

    I presume that the administrative decision that went against the Govt directive to deny Teresa a place in matriculation was made in Peninsula Malaysia?

    If this is the case, I would not in the least bit be surprised. You know what race dominates the Peninsula civil service and a name like Teresa Clare on the application form would not even merit a glance, let alone identifying her mother’s Iban status and complying to the Govt. directive. Remember, a Peninsula definition of bumiputra is different from Sarawak’s.

    Sarawakians need to decide if they want to be marginalised further. Sending BN back with a two third majority in the recent state elections is not helping. And dear Colonel, you can contribute by educating your fellow Sarawakians what they need to do in the GE coming up.

  2. #2 by drngsc on Wednesday, 11 May 2011 - 10:37 am

    Dont your know, we are on autopilot? While the politicians play around, the little Napoleons also play around with us.
    There is a great divide between Putrajaya, and the rest of Malaysia.

    We must change the tenant at Putrajaya.

  3. #3 by k1980 on Wednesday, 11 May 2011 - 11:08 am

    The whole family must first convert to ‘Slam and then only are considered boomees. Am I right, oh great mamak?

  4. #4 by on cheng on Wednesday, 11 May 2011 - 11:40 am

    Ai yoyo, Sarawak brothers, why you angry angry?? You know the problem n solution ? Isn’t it?
    Why still give ‘white hair’ n BN 2/3 majority in recent state election, you can educate fellow Sarawakian, espc in rural areas to chuck BN away, that’s is the only solution !!

  5. #5 by jus legitimum on Wednesday, 11 May 2011 - 11:51 am

    Malaysia is the only country in the world that divides its citizens into Bumi and Non bumi.To stop this nonsensical racist policy is to vote out the useless Umno/Bn in the coming GE.

  6. #6 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 11 May 2011 - 12:17 pm

    Consult MMK lor, how he transformed fr Indian 2 Malay mah

  7. #7 by tak tahan on Wednesday, 11 May 2011 - 12:18 pm

    In order to get aids and be warded in the same ward as terminal ill patient(NEP products) or be boarded into HP6 university one has to be slamized like their brotherhood Ridhuan Tee,the King ka li Kong PhD..to name the fews.

  8. #8 by Loh on Wednesday, 11 May 2011 - 1:29 pm

    It is because products of mixed marriages are allowed to be considered bumiputras that have made the divide bumi-non-bumi permanent. If bumis marry-up, non-bumi, there is no need to have special assistance. Otherwise non-bumis marry down to perpetuate bumi divide. That is why a certain Tee , a running dog with Chinese blood, and lard running in his veins would claim to champion Malays. He would not do so if not for the unfair advantage.

    I think the country should insist purity of the persons before they are allowed to be placed in the special position. The sooner the pure breeds are reduced, the earlier this country can be declared free from racial discrimination.

  9. #9 by DAP man on Wednesday, 11 May 2011 - 2:28 pm

    Friend, if you had been a Muslim there would be no problem.
    This government says one thing and does the opposite. That is why the whole civil service is Malay dominated.
    To this government the Malays are first class Bumis and the Ibans and others second class.
    We are the pendatangs to be pushed around and made to pay taxes and shut up.
    If pendatangs dont pay taxes how are the Bumis going to get their monthly wages.

  10. #10 by boh-liao on Thursday, 12 May 2011 - 1:32 am

    Ai yah, now only he knows some Bumis r more Bumi than other Bumis 1
    D less privileged Bumis now hv a taste of d feelings of no privilege nonBumis lor

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