— Erna Mahyuni
The Malaysian Insider
March 03, 2013
MARCH 3 — Living on a knife’s edge: that was the Sabahan reality for the last two weeks.
While Putrajaya played at diplomacy and our home minister mugged for the cameras, many Sabahans were left angry and confused.
There are intruders on our doorstep! Why are they not being chased out?
Do not believe the rumours, Putrajaya said.
We are hoping for a peaceful resolution, Putrajaya said.
And now, good men are dead.
My mother, ever the optimist says, “Let’s hope it all turns out for the best.”
But I know that right now she is checking that the knives are where she hid them.
Sabahans are not surprised.
Just a few years back, the Population and Housing Census Report for 2010 of the Economic Planning Unit said 27 per cent of Sabah’s population are foreigners.
Nearly a third of Sabah.
70 per cent of of Sabah’s prison population are also foreigners.
It is the reality Sabahans live with. Foreigners are everywhere, with even their own dedicated settlements.
According to Tan Sri Simon Sipaun, formerly of SUHAKAM and currently PROHAM chairman, when Kampung Ice Box in Tawau burnt down 25 years ago, 5000 people lost their homes.
Only 500 were Sabahan.
Everyone’s favourite MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin’s own constituency of Kinabatangan numbered about 85,000 as of June 2005.
Only 25,000 of his constituents were Malaysians.
To say that Sabahans have seen it coming is an understatement. Even now, there are ‘black areas’ in the state capital of Kota Kinabalu that locals will not go. Enter them at night, residents are warned, and you might not see the morning. Not even the police dare.
For years, Sabahan politicians from both Barisan Nasional and the opposition have clamoured for action. Funnily enough, illegal immigrants are one of the few things that has them on the same page.
Because this is our reality: Sabahans have been at the mercy of foreigners for years. Foreigners who have been aided and abetted by Putrajaya.
The RCI findings have proven instead that the sheep have been asking the wolves for protection.
While Filipinos are given ICs and voting rights, many true native Sabahans in rural areas do not have birth certificates or MyKads.
Of course, Sabahans are angry. Some have even taken to calling West Malaysians ‘semenanjing’ (West Malaysian dogs).
And can you blame them?
Can you blame them for being angry at Putrajaya’s failures? For its promises that once it took over the state from the opposition that things would be better? Rosy visions of development and prosperity!
Sabah is still poor. Sabah is still awash in illegals.
And now Sabahans are cowering in their homes, living out the nightmare they knew could be coming.
If only Putrajaya had listened.