Taib’s step children can now stand in Sarawak polls, says Chong

Taib and Ragad. – Sarawak Report Pic

THE step-children of the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud are now allowed to contest in the state election following recent amendments to the Sarawak constitution, the DAP has claimed.

Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said with the latest amendments, children of a Sarawak-born individual can vie to be a member of the state legislature.

“That is not what we Sarawakians want. As such, both DAP and PSB had objected to the bill,” he said in a statement.

Chong who is also Kota Sentosa state assemblyman said the the word “Sarawakian” did not  even appear in the amendment passed and instead the qualifying terms were “normally resident”.

Chong also urged the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) to stop spreading lies that only a Sarawakian is eligible to be elected as a state assemblyman.

Chong said DAP and PSB assemblymen also had objected the first version of the Amendment Bill as the qualifying word is “resident” according to the Immigration Act, forcing the GPS government to withdraw the Bill.

“I proposed that the qualifying words be “Sarawakian” but my proposal was rejected by GPS as they do not want the word “Sarawakian” to appear in the State Constitution and they do not want “Sarawakian” to be the qualifying criteria for the eligibility to be elected as Sarawak assemblymen,” he said.

Last week, the DAP and PSB objected to the bill and had wanted tighter eligibility requirements for those vying to be a state lawmaker. The bill was passed in the GPS-dominated assembly.

Taib Mahmud’s wife, Toh Puan Ragad Kurdi Taib is of Lebanese descent and has two children from a previous marriage.

In 2018, the opposition kicked up a fuss after Ragad was officially recognised as a Melanau, giving her the right to hold native land titles.

This was despite thousands of Sarawak-born not having identification cards or had to wait years to get one.

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