According to the British administration which is legal in Sabah and
therefore in Malaysia.
Unfortunately Kadazans, Dusuns, Muruts, Bajau(Jumo Sama) and Orang
Sungai are not mentioned. They could be classified as the is or were
members of "people indigenous to Sabah". Which means that you can be
excommunicated from your tribe, and yet, still claim nativity to
Sabah. It could refer to the Dusuns and Muruts in Indonesia.
The British refer to Tausug as Suluk as shown by this ordinance and my
birth certificate which is different from what Filipinoes call
themselves in writing i.e. Tausug.
Both people refer to themselves as Tausug in conversations in Suluk
Please note thata these nativity has nothing to do with anthropology
but refer to native rights in Sabah who were given special treatment
by the British administration, such as special scholarships and land
Current practise is awkward with the freezing of the issuance of the
native certificates. This ordinance gives the authority to decide who
are entitled to the native rights in Sabah to the native courts. Land
offices in each district have their own interpretations disallowing
Javanese any native right while allowing Suluks and Bruneis who are
Sabahans the chance to prove their residency status. Those who are
born in the Philippines and Brunei, or whose parents are born outside
Sabah, will not be considered as native.
In my case, they don't even check my birth certificate in Sandakan
when I bought a Field Reserve land through forced auction. According
to the land office, Field Reserve is equivalent to the Native Title.
This Field Reserve is for Perpetuity which is unusual nowadays.
STATE OF SABAH
INTERPRETATION (DEFINITION OF NATIVE)
(Sabah Cap. 64)
LIST OF AMENDMENTS
2(1)(b), (c), (d), (3),
3(1)(b), (c), (d)
2(1)(a), (b), (c), (d),
To define the expression "native" in a more precise manner and to make
certain consequential provisions thereon.
[10th December, 1952.]
1. Short title.
This Ordinance may be cited as the Interpretation
(Definition of Native) Ordinance.
(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
(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:
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.
(2) In the definition of "native" set out in subsection (1)
(a) "ancestor" means progenitor in the direct line other than a
(b) "native community" means any group or body of persons the
majority of whom are natives within the meaning of paragraph (a) of
subsection (1) and who live under the jurisdiction of a Local
Authority established under the provisions of the Rural Government
Ordinance* or of a Native Chief or Headman appointed under the
provisions of that Ordinance;
(c) "parent" includes any person recognised as a parent under
native law or custom.
(3) No claim by any person to be a native by virtue of the
provisions of paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) of subsection (1) shall be
recognised as valid unless supported by an appropriate declaration
made by a Native Court under section 3.
†3. Powers of Native Courts.
(1) Any person claiming to be a native may apply to a Native
Court established under the Native Courts Enactment, 1992‡ and having
jurisdiction in the area in which such person resides to declare –
(a) that such person is recognised by native law and custom as
the parent or child, as the case may be, of any other person; or
(b) that such person is a member of a native community, has so
lived during any stated period, and while so living has borne a good
(c) that such person is a member of a people named in
paragraphs (c) or (d) of subsection (1) of section 2; or
(d) that a parent of such person is or was a member of a people
named in paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of section 2 and living, or
if deceased is buried or reputed to be buried, in Sabah.
(2) Subject to the provision of subsection (3) of this section,
any Native Court referred to in subsection (1) to whom an application
is properly made under such subsection shall have exclusive
jurisdiction to entertain and determine any such application and to
make such declaration as the case requires.
(3) Any declaration of any Native Court made in the exercise of
the jurisdiction conferred upon it by subsection (2) shall be subject
to review and scrutiny by, and appeal to the District Officer or a
Board of officers appointed by the Yang di-Pertua Negeri for the
(4) The final decision on any application made under subsection
(1) shall be conclusive evidence for all purposes in respect of the
matter or matters to which it relates.
The Banishment Ordinance (Cap. 10)*.
The Christian Marriage Ordinance (Cap. 24)†.
The Labour Ordinance (Cap. 67).
* Title has been changed to Rural Administration Ordinance by section
109(2)(b) of Ordinance No. 11 of 1961.
† See G.N.S. 154 of 1958.
‡ "Native Courts Enactment, 1992" substituted for "Native Courts
Ordinance" by virtue of Enactment No. 3 of 1992.
* Cap. 10 was repealed by F.L.N. 41 of 1965.
† Cap. 24 was repealed by Act 164.