Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Race boxes in job form under fire
Human rights body says it is unnecessary


There is no need to have four boxes on the job application form to specify one’s race. “Why not just have one box and let the applicant decide whether she or he wants to put what his or her race is. After all, are all Malaysians, and that is what counts most,” stressed Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) Vice President, Tan Sri Simon Sipaun. The former State Secretary also told The Borneo Post yesterday that instead of emphasising on the differences, it is better to give priority to the similarities. “And that is being Malaysians. It is regardless of what your race is as long as you are able to perform well in your work. This is especially important when promoting national unity.., there should be no race differences to be a Malaysian,” he said. Sipaun was commenting on a statement by United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) Deputy President, Datuk Wilfred Bumburing, that the Federal Civil Service Department (JPA) does not recognise the natives in East Malaysia states. He said the JPA’s application form, whether via internet of hard copy, would have a section where an applicant is required to enter his or r race, and only four racial categories are provided Malay, Chinese, indian and Others. “The Bumiputeras in Sabah and Sarawak are grouped as Others, and It is as though, the natives are not recognised and do not exist on earth,” he said, calling for similar recognition from JPA, although the natives only represent nine percent of Malaysia’s overall population. Bumburing said Sabah and Sarawak had contributed 54 parliamentary seats to Barisan Nasional in the March 8 polls and hoped that their voices would be heard in Parliament. Sipaun, on the other hand, said whether the JPA recognises the natives or otherwise is not for him to comment. “It is for them (JPA) to answer on the part whether the natives are recognised or otherwise. But, if I have my way, I will not ask for the race as we are all Malaysians. “Speaking as an indigenous person, I would feel like an outcast when filling up the application form, as Jam just under the Others group, as Jam not a Malay, or Chinese or Indian. “Why can’t we only have one box instead of four boxes? It would put a stop to all racial differences and in a way, better promote national unity,” he added.