KDM the new underclass in Umno’s Sabah Baru

KDM the new underclass in Umno Sabah Baru

Sabah is in the throes of a political crisis although it is publicly
denied by the Umno and Barisan Nasional leadership, whether state or national.

There is for instance a lot of play-acting over the shock abrupt resignation of Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat as Sabah Deputy Chief Minister and State Tourism Minister on Friday, with the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi fully endorsing the Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Musa Aman, in saying that Chong’s resignation was “not really a loss” because it would not weaken the Barisan Nasional state government.

In other words, although Chong was Deputy Chief Minister and one of the key digits in the in the conspiracy and strategy to establish Umno hegemony in Sabah in the early nineties, he is now completely irrelevant and expendable.

It is no surprise therefore that Chong had expressed his “hurt” at the Prime Minister’s dismissive comments about his resignation, telling Oriental Daily News today that the Prime Minister’s comment had wounded his dignity and offended the people of Sabah and the Chinese.

Kah Kiat had maintained that he was quitting the Sabah Cabinet “as a matter of principle” — implying basic and fundamental differences with the Sabah Chief Minister.

The media have reported that ties have been strained between the chief minister and his deputy for some time over numerous issues like Musa’s plans to develop Pulau Sipadan island off Sabah’s east coast, with Malaysiakini citing as ” the final straw” their differences over Chong’s proposal to build a huge statue of the Goddess of Mercy in Kudat as a tourist attraction.

It is clear however to astute political observers that Chong’s resignation is only the tip of the iceberg of what is politically wrong and even rotten in Sabah after Umno’s entry in Sabah and 13 years of Umno and Barisan Nasional control of the Sabah State Government and that the issues at stake are even bigger than Chong’s differences over “principle” with Musa.

What is the cause of the Sabah malaise and crisis? Umno has successfully made its foray into Sabah and established its unquestioned political hegemony in the state in less than a decade, but in the process, it has broken every pledge it had made on entry into Sabah.

Umno had promised a “New Sabah”, promising political equality to the major communities in Sabah by rotating the post of Chief Minister among the three major communities.

In the 1994 Sabah state general election, Umno also spelt out the “highlights” of this Sabah Baru –

  • To reduce the poverty level in Sabah from 33 per cent in 1994 to zero in the year 2000;
  • To eliminate illiteracy to zero in year 2,000;
  • To eradicate corruption in Sabah;
  • To give every Sabahan a house by the year 2,000;
  • To resolve the problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah.

The utter hollowness of the Sabah Baru was tragically illustrated last month when in desperation with life in poverty which gripped his family, a 11-year-old Std. Five Dusun pupil of SK Kinarut, Donny John Dion committed suicide and hanged himself at home at Kampung Suangon in the Papar parliamentary constituency.

UMNO Papar has been shaken up by the unheard-of suicide of a 11-year-old boy because of abject poverty to help Donny’s surviving five siblings and mother, Hina Joloni — but do we have to wait until an 11-year-old boy in modern and developed Malaysia have to commit suicide to dramatically highlight the abject poverty of his family before some temporary aid is forthcoming from the very wealthy and powerful people in the country?

In fact, Donny’s tragic suicide is the most potent illustration of the violation of all the Umno promises of a Sabah Baru — as 13 years of Umno and Barisan Nasional rule of Sabah has created the shocking result that the Kadazandusun and Murut (KDM) communities have emerged as the new underclass in Sabah like the Indians in Peninsular Malaysia — while UMNO and Barisan Nasional leaders waxed indecently rich.

In fact, in many instances, the KDM hardcore poor are even worse off than the illegal immigrants, getting better care and attention from the authorities, including issuing them with false identity cards, voting rights, hospital and education facilities.

Lets have a quick checkoff of the “highlights” of the Sabah Baru marking Umno’s entry into Sabah over a decade ago:

1. To reduce the poverty level in Sabah from 33 per cent in 1994 to zero in the year 2000

According to the Ninth Malaysia Plan tabled in Parliament in March last year, the incidence of poverty in Sabah in 2004 was the highest of all states in Malaysia, and was nowhere near zero incidence and higher than Kelantan and Terengganu. The incidence of poverty of the various states in Malaysia in 2004 were as follows:

State Incidence of Poverty (%)

Johore 2.0

Melaka 1.8

Negri Sembilan 1.4

Perak 9.5

Pulau Pinang 0.3

Selangor 1.0

Fed.Territory (KL) 1.5

Kedah 7.0

Kelantan 10.6

Pahang 4.0

Perlis 6.3

Sabah 23.0

Sarawak 7.5

Terengganu 15.4

Sabah has also the worst incidence of hard-core poverty at 6.5% as compared the next three states with highest incidence, i.e. Terengganu 4.4% and Kedah and Kelantan 1.3%.

Four years ago, in February 2003, former Finance Minister Datuk Mustapha Mohamad who is now Higher Education Minister issued a blistering report card on Sabah’s 40 years in Malaysia — a dismal failure in development and nation-building!

Speaking at a public dialogue at Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Mustapha, who was at the time the National Economic Action Council executive director and UMNO Information Chief, admitted that the management of Sabah’s resources, civil service and political situation were among the factors contributing to the state’s lackluster economic performance, reducing a “once wealthy state … ..to a point of no return”.

In a most telling and cutting verdict, Mustapha said Sabah was “now in the same economic league as his native Kelantan”!

Four years after Mustapha indictment of the dismal failure of the development record of Sabah, things have got worse instead of getting better — to the extent that a 11-year-old had to commit suicide to draw the attention of the authorites to the plight of the DCM poor!

The failure of the Umno’s development record to uplift the poor and backward stratas of society is all the more deplorable when contrasted with the obscene wealth accumulated by the political high-and-mighty in Sabah.

2. To eradicate corruption in Sabah

When Umno entered Sabah, the Prime Minister and Umno President Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad promised that Umno culture will be different from those of the Sabah political parties and promised to remove any Barisan Nasional state leader who was corrupt. In the 1994 general election, campaigning under the pledge to eradicate corruption in Sabah, Sabahans were urged to reject corrupt leaders (referring to the PBS state government of Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan).

In the past 13 years, not only have all the “corrupt” Sabah leaders whom UMNO had earlier urged Sabahans to reject have one after another joined Barisan Nasional, but not a single corrupt Barisan Nasional leader had been removed although corruption had never been more serious at any stage of its history.

Five years ago, there were the following cynical comment in an article in the Sunday Star about the Sabah politics of musical chairs which should have been the subject of a soul-searching by the relevant authorities about public integrity and zero-tolerance of corruption in public life:

Ask politicians and journalists about the rotation system, and they will jokingly say: ‘One CM took the hills, one gave away the sea, one signed off the valleys and another bet on watery deals.’

They cannot help but compare what veteran politicians say about the Usno-Berjaya-PBS governments: ‘Usno took the meat of the timber, Berjaya the bones and PBS the crumbs with Barisan looking at leftovers.’

Everyone in Sabah knew what was meant by the cynical comment that “One CM took the hills, one gave away the sea, one signed off the valleys and another bet on watery deals” except for the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), which seemed to be the only one ignorant about its implications.

That was five years ago, but today, under Musa Aman, corruption in Sabah has reached an even more rotten state, to the extent that a police report was recently lodged with regard to 25 serious corruption allegations against Musa by a former Sabah State Minister, Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan.

The 25 allegations of Jeffrey against Musa total malpractices running into billions of ringgit but up to now no serious attention has been given either by the Sabah Chief Minister, who said he was not bothered by them, or the Prime Minister or the ACA.

Sabah and Sarawak, under Chief Ministers Musa and Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, are now the two states with the worst problem of corruption and the Prime Minister must be prepared to deal with them courageously if his pledge of making anti-corruption top priority of his administration is not to become a farce.

3. Rotation of Chief Minister among the three communities

When Umno entered Sabah, it promised equal political partnership in the state and in the 1994 Sabah state general elections, it pledged that the post of Chief Minister would be rotated among the three major communities if Barisan Nasional toppled the PBS state government.

However, this had been violated in implementation — further proof of the political, economic and social marginalization of the KDM community.

The Sabah Chief Minister rotation-system had worked unfairly and inequitably against the KDM community — producing four UMNO Chief Ministers to represent the Malay community, two Chinese Chief Ministers but only “half” a Chief Minister for the Kadazandusun community, as Tan Sri Bernard Dompok was only Chief Minister for ten months!

Now the Chief Minister is made permanent property of UMNO to reflect Umno’s political hegemony in Sabah. Surely, before there is a change of the Sabah Chief Minister rotation system, the KDM community should have their fair opportunity to complete two terms of the office. i.e. four years, as had been enjoyed by the Malay and Chinese communities.

4. To resolve the problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah

The problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah today is even worse than more than a decade ago when the resolution of the long-standing problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah was proclaimed as one of the pillars of Sabah Baru 13 years ago.

In the seventies, there were 100,000 to 200,000 illegal immigrants, which have mushroomed to some one million to 1.5 million at present, to the extent that there are Sabahans who warned that they have been outnumbered as to become strangers in their own country.

At the time when Umno leaders were promising a Sabah Baru to resolve the problem of illegal immigrants in the state, they were actively involved in the racket known as Project I/C to legalise the status of illegal immigrants by issuing them false identity cards to become phantom voters determining the political destiny of Sabah.

The political turmoils in Sabah, which Umno and Barisan Nasional leaders have refused to acknowledge, must be admitted and corrected or they will undermine the international competitiveness both of Sabah and Malaysia.

What I speak represents the cries of the ordinary people of Sabah. Let it be fully heeded.

(Speech on the 2007 Supplementary Estimates in Dewan Rakyat on Monday, 16th April 2007)

  1. #1 by lakshy on Monday, 16 April 2007 - 4:45 pm

    It’s okay, let them mismanage Sabah. Sabah is one state that can easily vote out BN. BN’s antics will only result in it’s ouster in the next state and GE in Sabah. I look forward to this.

    Hopefully it happens in Sarawak too. More difficult, but it can happen there too.

    Then hopefully the new governments in these two states seriously investigates and exposes the excesses of their predecessors and BN leaders which could result in a better nation for all of us.

    I do hope the IC’s given to the illegals can be taken back too, to prevent creation of more “bumiputras” who can vote for Umno. Could this all be part of umno’s vote buying measures to ensure more indonesians settle in Sabah and Sarawak and get bumiputra rights and hence vote for umno?

  2. #2 by lakshy on Monday, 16 April 2007 - 4:54 pm

    I remember during my school days that the KDM viewed the Semenanjung people with suspicion. After all wasn’t it the income from petroleum/timber that has developed much of the nation? But what has been the benefit to Sabah and Sarawak? The profits go to Petronas who hardly has any investments in Sabah and Sarawak. So where does the benefits go to besides KL?

    So it has come to this — the real indigeneous peoples (pribumi) of malaysia have also been marginalised by the malays. Welcome to the club.

    Perhaps its now time for the KDM also to call for dropping of the special privileges for malays, since its only a small number of rich malays who seem to be benefitting from it, while the really deserving dont get much benefit from the measures. Let priveleges be given according to need. That way all deserving cases will be treated equally.

    If you study the figures above even more closely, hom much of the 2% poverty in Johor is Malay, Pribumi, Indian?

    Look at Perak which has 9.5% poverty. It is close to Kelantan (10.6%), but again what percentage of this poor represents Malay, Pribumi, Indians and Chinese?

    YB, these breakdown figures may be important as a means to determine who needs the help the most.

  3. #3 by HJ Angus on Monday, 16 April 2007 - 5:14 pm

    The sad truth is that the Orang Asli have been left behind by the new colonialists after independence, more so with the NEP policies where more developed strains of humans have usurped all the benefits.

    Now they have little left with much of their ancestral lands being logged as seen in the struggles of the Penans.

  4. #4 by MALAYSIANbukanMALAYSIAN on Monday, 16 April 2007 - 5:24 pm

    Sabah folks can only blame themselves or should I say Sabah folks were cheated by the political parties who joined the BN.

    Is it too late to snatch Sabah away from the BN? That’s the only way to stop the rot in Sabah. Another case of UMNO’s colonialisation!!! UMNO marginalising the people of Sabah!

    Wake up Sabahans. You don’t need UMNO!!!!

    Only Anwar undo the wrong that he has done on Sabah people. Anwar knows how to fight this battle but is he sincere enough?

  5. #5 by Bigjoe on Monday, 16 April 2007 - 5:31 pm

    There can only be one explanation why the PM has come out strongly for Musa Aman despite all the corruption allegations and that is he is lining the PM’s family own pocket and political agenda. This is why Musa Aman is so arrogant because he knows he can’t be touched.

    There can be no other explanation. No politician worth his own salt would back someone who has messed things up the way Musa Aman has since he took over unless there is something in it for himself. Its just plain stupid management to do so. People like Musa Aman are easily replaceable administratively but political and monetary allegiance in a rough and tumble place like Sabah is not..

  6. #6 by ahkok1982 on Monday, 16 April 2007 - 5:42 pm

    it is v difficult to right this wrong…
    firstly, e number of illegal immigrant voters hav outnumbered sabahans. tt is wat umno needs to maintain in power. even now if all sabah ppl vote against them, they will still lose. other than a total statewide protest, sabah cannot b won back by voting alone. it is far too corrupt to e core. n still how do one go ard checking if a malaysian IC holder was an illegal immigrant or not.

  7. #7 by pongsakling on Monday, 16 April 2007 - 5:52 pm

    Chelsea manager said 9 out of his 11 first team players are untouchable, for Pak Lah, Rafidah is untouchable, Musa is untouchable, Kerismudin is untouchable, Samy vellu ???? Ong kar ting ?????

  8. #8 by hang tuah on Monday, 16 April 2007 - 6:08 pm

    chong shoud not felt hurt and neither the dignity and pride of the sabahan being hurt by such a true statement made by the abdullah.

    if it is true that sabahan is hurt they will stage a protest immediately infront of putrajaya tomorrow. but this will not happened becaue he indeed, did nothing right for the sabahan to cherished.

    30 odd years wasting his lifetime mixing with the corrupted and unprincipled is indeed a true waste of time which no one dare to imagine. how would you feel after sleeping with an unfaithfull spouse for 30 odd years and one fine day u only wake up to know that u have been cheated for the past 30 years. this is what chong experiencing now. please do not drag the sabahan to share such a misery with you as this is all your fault for joining the wrong type.

    shake head……

  9. #9 by sani on Monday, 16 April 2007 - 6:23 pm


    Sabahan are not only outnumber only at their own country, but even amount the Sabahan comunity in let say, Klang ,Selangor. I was not amused to find out that so many ‘Sabahans’ are actually of Filipinos + Indonesians blood. All these fresh of the boat ‘Sabahans’ now enjoys much more privilages then say my friends, Raju + Ah Seng, who’s families had been Malaysian for many a generations.

    Due to the lack of opportunities back home, many real Sabahan ladies even have to prositute themselves. This in stark contrast to the wealth that their country had contributed to Malaysia as a whole. Many real Sabahan men had been reduced to be mere factory hands, due to the lack of real progress that was suppose to compliment the natural resources that they are blessed with, in Sabah.

    I for one, must show my appreciation for my Real Sabahan friends for contributing much of your wealth to help build the rest of Malaysia. The least i can do, is to show moral support for your need to change your predicament. i would also take it upon myself to help your community in any way possible,to feel at home here in the Peninsula. I shall also support any party (ies) that really have your welfare at heart.

  10. #10 by Libra2 on Monday, 16 April 2007 - 7:19 pm

    The PM devalued himself by making such a derogatory statement that the resignation of one his leaders is no loss to the BN.
    Didn’t he realise that CKK is a Chnese leader? Isn’t his remakes also an indirect insult to the community CKK belong to?
    Any responsible leaders would have the decently and civility to at wish him all the best his in future and thank him for the services rendered to the state. Is this too much to ask?
    If he can say
    Such scorn and depravity from a national leader of all the races is a reflection of a PM who is ‘sick’ has lost touch with the pulse of the nation.
    If he can make such an uncivilized comment on CKK, would he not hesistate to say the same on the death of another political leader, be it from the government or opposition?.

  11. #11 by humanly on Monday, 16 April 2007 - 7:48 pm

    CKK is overhyped as a hero just becos he resigned.

  12. #12 by humanly on Monday, 16 April 2007 - 7:51 pm

    KDM had their chances under Pairin’s chief ministership. They are too tribal. Their elites are too willing to sell their souls for a pittance.

  13. #13 by aspire on Monday, 16 April 2007 - 10:46 pm

    Was it over 10 something years ago that we still get to see a non Muslim being the Chief Minister ? Now wherever we look, we only see a lot of Muslim leaders. While it seems we are going forward, actually we are going backwards without realizing it even. No doubt materialistically we have everything. We have the most modern. We have the most advanced. But when it comes to human value, it seems like we are going back to the days of slavery. In America, the blacks were the slaves. The whites were the masters. We have come to a time when we see a lot of Muslims being the masters and non Muslims being the subordinates, a word that sound so much better than the word slavery. How can a leader talk about transparency, integrity, care and all the goodness in a human being when all these are not put into action ? Only a liar would say that.

  14. #14 by fargowin on Tuesday, 17 April 2007 - 12:22 am

    Umno, which effectively runs the government, is riddled with corruption and cronyism.

    Members crave for the award of lucrative government contracts given out under the pretext of the NEP. But the party is filled with bureaucrats with no management skills and productive economic skills.

    In a freely competitive market, they would be in the lower rungs of the public sector or would have lost their jobs altogether. To maintain their way of life, they have to ensure that the NEP is continued at all costs.

    A large segment of the malays are still poor after 36 years of the NEP and on top of this, the income disparity between the poor and the rich has widened. Clearly, the NEP as a method of equalising economic disparity has failed.

    The benefits of the NEP to the poor malays is a pittance compared to the benefits to the rich and well connected malays. It is in reality a facade and tool for the elite and rich malays – who are in the minority – to continue their extravagant way of life at the expense of the rest on the country.

    The cost of the NEP so far include a government which makes decisions first and studies the impact later, an incompetent and inefficient public service, bailouts of well connected companies, brain drain, declining education standards, increased racial polarisation, unemployable graduates who are mostly malays –

    Just about everything that is wrong in this country!

  15. #15 by sotong on Tuesday, 17 April 2007 - 7:44 am

    The gross expliotation of NEP and the complete silience from the country leaders, knowing they are most immoral, damaging and destructive to the country, are most irresponsible and a total disgrace.

    For decades, the leaders had let the country and her ordinary down. There is no quick fix.

  16. #16 by ah lau on Tuesday, 17 April 2007 - 10:34 am

    All analysis done following the quiting of the one DCM, not many unsderstand anyway.

    More analysis will be out on the same issue, but what is the significance to the poor and hard-core poor ?

    Any impact on corruption ? biase ? plundering ?

  17. #17 by sheriff singh on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 2:12 am

    When the Hougan Siou, the Paramount Chief of the KDM, did nothing during his 9 years rule as Chief Minister and currently sits as a Deputy Chief Minister, then there is no hope for the Kadazan Dusuns Muruts.

    And who let them Filipinos and Indons into the State with so such ease?

    “Land Beneath the Wind”? Its “Land Gone with the Wind”.

  18. #18 by DiaperHead on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 4:19 am

    “And who let them Filipinos and Indons into the State with so such ease?”

    You dumb ass! Don’t you realize that Fillipinos and Indons claimed Sabah as theirs? So why should they be treated as illegal immigrants in territories that belonged to them.

  19. #19 by DiaperHead on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 6:46 am

    Who let the singhs in??

  20. #20 by DarkHorse on Wednesday, 18 April 2007 - 10:18 am

    Who let the dogs out??

  21. #21 by Jonny on Saturday, 21 April 2007 - 12:11 pm

    BN is lodged deep within Sabah. Even if let the dogs out, they would not be dislodged.

    Money politics is too deep rooted in Sabah. Everyone benefits from it and has equal share of skeletons in the closets.

    And, don’t forget – the illegal immigrants number are more than the locals. And also project Mykad. So, end of the day NUMBERS win.

    No thanks to Sabahans who sell their souls to the devils being involved in MyKad.

  22. #22 by robert wong on Tuesday, 24 April 2007 - 7:53 am

    No thanks to you Jonny, It’s the west Malaysian who is incharged of issuing the “Mycard” to the illegals! Sabah state govt. has no juridiction over immigration issue.

    Mind you also, the federal govt. has already let in hundreds of thousands of Indonesian muslim , I meant muslim into sabah and now these so-called “new immigrants” are enjoying all benefits that are enjoying by the local pri-bumi. How sad. Those AH Chongs, Muthu s, whose fore-fathers or grantfather immigrated to this land even before the forming of Malaysia can’t even match those just came to malaysia through the back door.

  23. #23 by robert wong on Tuesday, 24 April 2007 - 7:58 am

    If you are an Indonesian christian , or other religion than Muslim, then you would have very hard time or impossible to be the ‘soil of Malaysia’.

    Come to Sabah and see for yourself thanks to Air Asia for the cheap fares, bearded paskitanis are roaming the roads of sabah as this land belongs to them.

  24. #24 by myint3 on Monday, 28 April 2008 - 7:50 pm

    I am unabashedly simplistic in my analysis and conclusion of the root causes of the social ills that continue to plague our society(Sabah). Maybe it’s that simple. Maybe people look into it too much and made too much study upon study that the real cause is under their noses but their minds are too clouded to see the real problem. Like I said, for me it’s simple, I blame it squarely on the proliferation of illegal immigrants in our state, I blame it on our apathetic leaders both at state and federal level, I blame it on the inability of our enforcement and government agencies to maximise their existing wherewithal to stem the social ills that we have (come on, stop whining about not having enough resources, do something about it), I blame it on corruption on all levels, I blame it on the attitude of self-preservations amongst our politicians and leaders and last but not least, I blame it on us. Yes, us! We are apathetic too, we are indifferent to the problem until it happens to us.

    You read the news, we saw the increased in drug abuse, we read about crimes committed by illegal immigrants and we read about crimes committed both by illegal immigrants and locals that are syabu induced. Yet we do nothing about it! We are arm chair critics; we sit on the fence and wait for someone else to fix our problem for us. We whine and whine and whine. We are comfortable in our status quo. As long as it does not bother me, I won’t lift a finger.

    Look at our brothers and sister in the west, they decided to do something about their problem as evident in the last General Election result. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that a change in government is the solution to our problem. For all I know, BN leaders might be the people who have the resources to counter these problems. What I am saying is, get off our butts and do something about it. Take drastic actions. Be willing to be out of our comfort zone. Rock the status quo. Push our leaders to take action. Organise a petition. Whatever. No demonstration please. I for one, is a firm believer of exercising democracy with responsibility. Believe me, democracy is hard to maintain without economic and political stability.

    But why do I blame the illegal immigrants for our social ills. If it’s not obvious enough, let me put forth my argument on this matter. Most of these illegal immigrants are uneducated and could not make a living in their own homeland. So they come to Sabah, illegally! Some of them could not find a job and what do they do? They turn to crime. Robbery, Syabu trafficking etc.

    Ok, we Sabahans have bad apples in our midst too but the presence of these illegal immigrants only exacerbate the situation. They bring in their imported social ills and corrupt our youngsters. They are also sapping the economy.

    It is reported recently that the poverty rate in Sabah is at 23%. That’s many times the number in West Malaysia. Many job and business opportunities that would have gone to the locals have gone to the hands of these illegal immigrants. I don’t need a Phd to deduce that they don’t pay income tax to the government.

    There are reports that these illegal immigrants somehow managed to get their hands on fake or forged citizenship documents; stealing our rights including the right to vote. It is alleged that some government officials are involved in this. For the money or for power, what these traitors did is treason in the highest level.

    They should be put to death for selling away their country.

    Illegal immigrants have been swarming and bleeding the state and the people of Sabah for more or less three decades now. This problem existed since the 1970s and yet, our detention centre in Papar and Sandakan can only accommodate 2,000/- and 1,500/- inmates respectively and our Tawau and Menggatal detention centre can only accommodate 1,500/- and 2,000/- inmates respectively at any given time. That’s totalling 7,000/-. Assuming that the total illegal immigrants in Sabah is in the region of 700,000/-, that would mean that we are only able to detain 1% of the total population of illegal immigrants in Sabah. An article in Wikipedia quoted that Dr Jeffrey Kitingan claimed that the number of illegal immigrants in Sabah numbered to 1.7 million.

    As our leaders argue and perhaps politicize this issue, more illegal immigrants are sneaking into Sabah. Evidently, Sabah is still a favourite destination for illegal immigrants. On 4 March 2008, Sandakan Marine Police intercepted three boats and detained 107 Filipino near a seaside squatter colony.


    Now the question that keeps bugging me is that, are we already at a stage that we are unable to do anything about this. 1.7 million illegal immigrants and we can only hold 7,000/- of them at any given time? At the same time, more are coming in.

    To further compound the problem, apparently Manila is dragging its feet in taking back their own citizens. It is reported that we do not have any such problem with the Indonesian government. Perhaps the authorities in the Philippines are not as efficient as its counterpart in Indonesia. They aren’t eager to take back their citizens whom are languishing in detention centres in Sabah, are they?

    If I am a bit coo coo up there or a proponent of the conspiracy theory, I might even go as far as to suggest that perhaps the lack of urgency on the Philippines part is deliberate. It could be systematic invasion. Send in your “settlers” into Sabah, let them sink root in Sabah and propagate. It’s an open secret that they have design on the state of Sabah. No one wants to talk about it but they are talking about it. Look at the discussion at this forum http://www.gov.ph/forum/thread.asp?rootID=35220&catID=18. Also look at this website of The Sultanate of Sulu & North Borneo/Sabah – http://www.royalsulu.com/issues.html. It’s open flirtation!

    Anyway, I have let my imagination run wild. Where was I? Oh yes, is it too late for us to do anything about it? 1.7 million! That is a big number. After 30 years, the present facilities and redress given by the authorities thus far seem insignificant in relation to the magnitude that the issue has grown into. I’m not blaming any one party on this. I blame all the leaders for the past 30 years that failed us. No excuse. We’re only concern with the numbers, the numbers don’t lie. If there is a Key Performance Index(KPI) in place for these leaders, I think they would be below their KPI and what do we do with people who do not meet their KPI, they get fired.

    More needed to be done and urgently before we are overwhelmed and become stranger in our own land. No one is against migration into this state. It’s normal. I think Sabah is still big enough to accommodate migrants but these migrants must be legal, skilled and able to contribute to the economy of the host country and not bleed it.

    Regardless that the number of the illegals have swelled significantly, despair not my fellow Sabahan. It’s better late than never but we must act. There must be an awakening amongst us, the parents, the brothers and sisters, the uncles and aunties, the cousins. We need to proactively do something about our current situation.


    The level of poverty, drug abuse and crimes in Sabah is unacceptable, if not in the increase. Our esteemed elected leaders need to tackle these problems before it spread like wild fire.
    We have to put our home in order.

    If I am the head of the household, my first order of the day would be to clear my home of all the rubbish first. Close my door to all unwanted visitors because otherwise, I couldn’t have quality time with my family. My family and I need to have special and quiet time together without unwanted visitors to come in and disturb our time together. We need time alone to heal the wounds.

    Therefore in this respect, a strategy must be put forth to tackle the issue of illegal immigrants in our midst. Political pressure must be put on every party involved including the originating countries of the illegal immigrants so that these countries would co-operate.

    Timeframe must be made i.e. a deadline on when we expect how many percent of the total illegal immigrants would be repatriated. We must have a strategy or a business plan so that necessary resources could be allocated in advance. So far what we see is that we are fighting fire as it comes and not anticipating it.

    The running of the state should be done as though it is a business to certain extend. If the people in business are running their business with many failsafe in place, the people running our state and country should have double of what the former have. I mean, you’re running a country for goodness’ sake. If a business fails, you can always liquidate the business but what if a country fails? Can we liquidate and pack up as easy?

    Once we have eliminated all external issue i.e. in this case illegal immigrants, then we can concentrate fully on healing our land and people.

    A very upset Sabahan,


You must be logged in to post a comment.