Is anybody listening to what Sabahans want?


Lucy Ahmed
Malaysiakini
Mar 4, 2013

When speaking of the recent Sabah intrusion incident, many people are trying to relate it only to the bigger picture of the Malaysian government’s political issues.

But it is much deeper than that as it has crept into the fabric of the social lives of Sabahans.

I am here talking because I am a Sabahan, and my hometown is Sandakan, which is only few kilometres from where the incidents are taking place.

I am definitely very concerned over the lingering issue of never ending claim by some non-existent sultanate that has no legitimacy at all since the Suluks “lordship” was only valid around 200 years ago.

While the main decisions are being discussed and taking place miles away from across the ocean in the peninsular Malaysia, we the people of North Borneo are all living in a tense situation and in uncertainty on our own soil.

We are not given any right at all to voice our opinions over the matter. We are just like a colony without any power to decide our future, but to simply follow orders from across the ocean.

What we strongly disagree is for other people to change our historical and cultural background.

Yes, historically a small part of North Borneo belonged to the sultan of Sulu, but they have never done anything much to North Borneo in term of developing it.

The sultanate existed around 200 years ago, and it has long been forgotten and no longer recognised anywhere in the world.

They do not have any existing kingdom thus by the international law, any claim from them is no longer valid.

Now North Borneo is an independent state, and it is part of Malaysia since the last 50 years.

Malaysia by law has to protect the welfare of the state and the people of North Borneo.

And what we want is for Malaysia to once and for all to stop all these illegal claims and intrusions from the non-existent sultanate or any pirates that come to our shore to disturb the peace of our state.

We do not want any more fruitless negotiations which have been going on for years and years since the formation of the Federation of Malaysia.

We are very disappointed with the marines for failing to protect the shore of our state. All those “pirates” should have been stopped at sea, disarmed and sent back to where they belong but instead they were given all kinds of leniency on our soil.

This is not a new issue at all as there has been many illegal entries from those living in the islands of Sulu.

Unfortunately, without the consent of the people of North Borneo, those illegal immigrants have been legitimised by the government of Malaysia.

The social fabric of North Borneo has now been much distorted creating the racial and religious imbalance in our state which are all to the advantage of the federal government.

We, the native people, once the majority group on our own soil have been turned into a minority group due to this legitimisation over the years.

Another complication that arises through this legitimisation is the grabbing of the “special privileges” of the native people.

Understand that all these Suluk immigrants are Muslims, and they are automatically entitled to the special privileges which all Muslims in Malaysia are entitled to.

Our poor native people of Sabah, who are not Muslims, have now become the second class citizens on our own soil.

In other words, those legitimised immigrants with their special advantage of being Muslims, have grabbed every opportunity entitled to the native people of Sabah.

Many have received all kinds of help from the government of Malaysia which has left a smaller piece of pie to the native-born.

In conclusion, had the federal government had the best interest of Sabahans in mind, those pirates would not have an easy access into our soil.

Now the Suluks are having a strong footing on our soil due to the leniency of the federal government during the past 30 years.

The so called ’100 gunmen’ can easily increase to 1,000 and even 2,000 gunmen because the Suluks have spread themselves into every corner of our state over these long years.

Historically, the Mahathir Mohamad government should be blamed for all the mismanagement of the state of Sabah.

He actively involved himself in the affair of the Palestinians, but failed to settle a similar basic problem of his own subjects.

Mahathir never tried to solved the long-standing problem of this Sabah claim issue, but instead had escalated it to our suffocation. Mahathir is the main devil here, all due to his hunger for power as premier for 22 long years

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  1. #1 by yhsiew on Friday, 15 March 2013 - 7:39 am

    The strange thing is Sabahans know who brought the mess to Sabah and yet they still vote for BN to allow the party to aggravate the situation. Sabahans have themselves to blame in part for today’s situation in Sabah.

  2. #2 by Bigjoe on Friday, 15 March 2013 - 8:01 am

    I have said from the start, if the Sulu Sultanate or anyone else want Sabah, they have to ask Sabahan first and foremost. Hell, they could even let the 800,000 filipino (legal and illegal!) who live there decide. How many people want to bet with me that they won’t chose to be part of Sultanate OR the Philippines?

    Farish Noor put it best, Sabah IS Malaysia, it was one of three party that made up Malaysia. There is no Malaysia without Sabah. Before they bring it up to Putrajaya, they have to ask Sabahan first and foremost.

  3. #3 by Loh on Friday, 15 March 2013 - 8:19 am

    ///Mahathir is the main devil here, all due to his hunger for power as premier for 22 long years.///–the author

    Well said.

  4. #4 by lauksnatlks on Friday, 15 March 2013 - 11:26 am

    To all Sababans, Work with PR, vote them in to roll back 22 years of mismanagement and marginalization of the KDM locals. ABU ABU….

  5. #5 by cseng on Friday, 15 March 2013 - 12:25 pm

    They prefer to charge tian chua seditious (for criticising Umno), than look into real problem. Not sure if criticise Mahathir also seditious to the nation?

    Lucy, they are not listening to you, they have auto shutoff valve installed in their ear-drum. That is why so many NGOs here, from bersih, hijau, etc.. to amplify the ‘noise’ so it get thru that shutoff valve.

    But, now, they have another device installed at their leaders’ throat, it shutsoff from answering to issues that he could not. That we are working on counter measures.

  6. #6 by best4rakyat on Friday, 15 March 2013 - 3:58 pm

    Sabahans had never united and trust each other even their leaders today.
    How many not to include those with UMNO Sabah were once CM but do they think about many issues against wills of Sabah at that time or still keep shouting only thereafter?
    Keep talking about resources and richness in forest,lands or oil or even autonomy will not help change,do you?
    Even party leaving BN,individual jump or hopping from party to party,or whatever has happened.Only one thing we have not seen that is to unite under one roof to defend the state.

    When can people or sabahan realise weakness of our own leaders by not blaming instead but stay united now!

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