Talkback Thursday: Binning the "lain-lain" category.
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Borneo charted new territories for themselves now that Sabah has joined Sarawak in binning the “lain-lain” race category on government documents and generic forms. The decision came after the Sabah state government deliberated on the matter and decided that the column should now be replaced with a blank space to allow applicants to identify their respective ethnicities.
Just to refresh everyone’s memory, the race column in forms have 4 boxes to tick from. The first 3 boxes represent the 3 main races, Malay, Chinese and Indian. The last box is called “lain-lain” or “others” with a space beside the box asking to state what race you are specifically. This applies to the Eurasians and the native races, mostly from ethnic tribes, of which Sabah alone has over 30.
In recent years, the binning if the race category in forms have been brought up with majority of those supporting the move stating that Malaysians shouldn’t be tagged. People have commented how segregating Malaysians according to race, further polarises the nation. So why are we so hung up on the having a race category? Is binning the lain-lain category in forms really necessary in the context of unity? Why?
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