KUCHING, Aug 27, 2015:
She looks very much like an “Orang Putih” but despite her Caucasian appearance, Karen Shepherd is very much a Sarawakian Eurasian.
“I was attacked not for what I do. Instead I was attacked for the colour of my skin. I’m afraid there is nothing I can do about that, It is the way I was born,” said Shepherd, at the Bersih 4.0 press conference held here today.
Born in Kuching 41 years ago to a British father and a Sarawakian mother, Shephard’s father helped the state to established the then Borneo Company.
Her grandfather, Jeff Shepherd who is also an Eurasian of Scottish and Chinese descent happens to be the state’s first Immigration director.
On Wednesday, Shepherd was branded as an outsider for her part of being the spokesman of Bersih 4.0 Kuching by Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.
In the report, Masing also described Bersih 4.0 Kuching organisers as being shackled by English colonial masters.
“Dr Masing sir, you may choose to label me as an outsider and you may choose to say that I have no right to talk about state affairs. Then perhaps you mean this applies to all ‘Orang Putih’ looking Sarawak Eurasians,” Shepherd added.
Shepherd is also a registered voter in the Batu Kawa state constituency and Stampin parliamentary seat.
Her family is also one of the well-known Eurasians who helped to shape early administrative and economic development in the state.
The Eurasian community in the state have grown over the years and among them includes the children of the current Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud from his marriage to his first wife Puan Sri Laila Taib.