What's up here
It's been quite awhile since I've post something besides traveling. Surely, I've got more things in my head right, ah you have no idea. The amount of things I asked, and the quality of questions that bug me everyday. I am always asking.
I have a lot of international friends, of which I met from traveling, blog and on other social connections. Now with all the fiasco that is happening in Sabah, I have been bombarded with so many questions by them; what happened? Why now? What was the cause? Most of us Sabahans are so revengeful, so hateful, in our response that I myself am repelled by us. How can we not, all the events that have happened in the past 30 - 40 years that are now brought to light have been proven to be so unfaltering to us.
If you have read the countless of reports and news on both local and international news, alternative or mainstream you would know about the Sultanates of Sulu claim on Sabah. This whole claim has the world's most complicated issue entangled to it dating back even during the British occupation, and how are we still paying the duty to the Sultanates of Sulu is a mystery I can't fathom but we are. While some have determined that this clearly was a lease, we had a black and white that Sabahans and Sarawakians had elected to be part of Malaysia, and not anymore with other countries (Cobbald Commission).
I am no historian, so my opinions are very localised, and very humble.
I think this whole thing is like fighting a custody over a kid. For 30 years of Sabah's life after a what seemingly clear cut agreement with Dad No.2, Dad No. 1 supposedly the real dad now (who hasn't been "taking care" of the kid for all the kid's life) now wants a custody of the kid. Basic English, do we acknowledge Dad No.1, even if he was never really there? When there were never no sound judgments, no extension of arms when we needed them?
And what was the salt on the wound (even before Lahad Datu standoff happened; which I personally think was the trigger) was RCI. The Royal Commission Inquiry on the ever so controversial "Project IC" which was unwaveringly conducted during Mahathir's governance. I was probably not living in those times where these were carried out to fully understand the suspicion but after much much doubts and pointing of fingers on the illegal immigrant issues, RCI has finally revealed all that we have always doubted of and more.
Project IC is a project carried out during the 80s, an action of giving out identity cards to the illegal immigrants of Sabah (not necessarily from the Philipines). In fact, some of the immigrants that were given these identity cards were also Pakistanis, Indians and so forth. The sick part of this process was what it requires from them. Their votes.
Jus Soli is one of the many ways to be acquiring residence, either you have contributed to the country (be brought in) and lived here long enough for economy or through de factos.
Naturally, in any country in the world, when you are intruded by illegal immigrants (by land, by sea, by road) your immigration would have remove them instantaneously by virtue and by right of their job. One, not only do we DON'T do that but we also give them Identity Cards. In exchange of votes!
This is the part where not only is it sly, and dirty and unbelievably distasteful (for any governance in the world), an election by its very definition is an appointment of the leader or the governance that the people have chosen. I knew of the accusations, but to have all these immigrants and officers back then that were somewhat involved finally admitting and coming clean, infront of Malaysia and the world, for tempering an election through that method was ... indigestible.
That is corruption at a whole new level.
RCI's next course of action was to clean up the illegal immigrants and have all of the illegal immigrants be deployed back to the Philippines. I'm thinking, this whole thing might have also been triggered by that. Where would their families who have stayed here for the rest of their lives run to and in fact, where will their descendants who will be completely flushed out be staying? Will they no longer hold some sort of weight in the state's population if they're deployed? I think these have raised concerns among the Suluks and their relatives who are staying in Kota Kinabalu. And the fact that President Acquino were deemed as indifferent of the Sabah-Sulu situation / levy probably have angered them (they were an independent nation before) and have "forced" them to take these matters into their own hands.
Now to me this is terrorism. This group is an extremist and what they represent is an ideology of taking something that is not yours with violence.
This is not about a race, this not about a nation. Suluks who have stayed in Sabah much longer than some of the Bumiputeras in Malaysia are of great friends. They have contributed to the economy, some of them are among the most succesful entrepreneurs. And the Philipines is a fellow ASEAN, a good friend and a reliable fellow ASEAN.
This is where the joke is on us, remember Project IC was talking about just now? The then Government has acquired a lot of the illegal immigrants by giving them residence for votes. Now, the fear among the locals is that they will be biting the hands that have fed them, because logistically they will be thinking that this was (un)fortunately was their land all along. And what about their fellow Sulu brothers who are fighting for this land? Could they use a hand? And mind you, not just a hand, the immigrants if they had chosen will give them tons of hands because they have been reported to make up 30% of Sabah's population, imagine that turning their back against us.
And the Sabahans, the indigenous of this island the original residents on this land are the ones sucked right in the middle of our forefathers' poor judgments. Unfair, but that's how life rolls.
I hope for so many things, but to start with, I hope we are all critical, more progressive in our judgment. And don't disagree just cause, and don't be ignorant because things are too complicated. Take time to read, and make up our own judgments. Our opinions.
And last but not least, at this junction where we are almost helpless, let us all pray for a divine intervention. That somewhere, somehow we find a compromise and no more people falls.
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.