Sunday, September 14, 2008

Crackdown My Foot!


Crackdown My Foot!

Not long after the March 8th general elections, in which Sabah and Sarawak re-elected the UMNO/BN government back into power, the UMNO government promised a “massive crackdown” on the growing presence of illegal Filipinos in the state of Sabah.

Photos and statements of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak graced the headlines of local dailies, promising and re-promising each day that the Kadazandusuns will once again be able to call Sabah a land of their own instead of giving it up to ID-possessing Filipinos.

It’s been six months since the promised and much hyped mega-operation.

As I drove past Kampung Likas for work recently, I realized that the Filipino settlements that were built over the mangrove swamp were no longer there. They have all been demolished to the ground. Even the wooden stilts that the houses use to stand upon were cleaned up and disposed of.



For a moment, I thought the UMNO/BN government had learnt its lesson and heeded the desires of increasingly frustrated local Sabahans.

I met a family in clinic yesterday. The patient was a 33-year-old Filipino man with a wife and two young children. He was seeking consultation for a high-grade fever. Attempting to elicit any risk factors for malaria and dengue, I briefly enquired about his housing and occupational conditions.

His wife was more than enthusiastic to offer an answer. I soon understood why.

The family used to stay in Kampung Likas, in a self-erected wooden stilt house perched over the mangrove swamp. They received electrical and water supply via illegal connections to the adjacent local homes. The salt-water swamp served as a common latrine as well as garbage dump. The rising and receding tides ensured that all trash and human excrement were washed out into the open sea nearby.

About a month ago, the UMNO state government issued them a notice to move out of the family home in Kampung Likas.

It was not a crackdown, however.

Instead, they were to be relocated into a three-room apartment in Taman Telipok Ria, about 30 minutes drive from the city of Kota Kinabalu. Their new home was equipped with the basic utilities as well as a small playground in the premises of the apartments. Movement of all their belongings was taken care of by the state government. They were to pay RM 130 of rental per month for their new home. Both their children possess valid Malaysian birth certificates. By age 12, they are eligible to apply for a Malaysian IC and being Muslim, they are entitled to all bumiputera privileges under the New Economic Policy.

Anyway, they were not the only family. To her understanding, all her fellow Filipino neighbours in Kampung Likas were similarly relocated and offered apartment homes in Taman Telipok Ria.

That is why the squatter houses of Kampung Likas are no longer there and that is why she was more than enthusiastic to talk about her new family home.
Out of curiosity, I checked out Taman Telipok Ria. I can testify with a clear conscience that the patient and his wife were telling the truth. The number of Filipino residents in the apartments at Telipok Ria is significant and alarming. In fact, they might even outnumber the figures of local Sabahans.

The sign of the housing project stated that a total number of 2,400 units were to be built. The project comes under the direct purview of the Local Housing Ministry and the Tuaran District Council.

All over Sabah, local Kadazandusun are being evicted from their native lands and homes in the name of development and logging. Clean and uncorrupted land officials who stand in the way of UMNO’s greed are wrongfully charged for corruption by the ACA. At the same time, Filipinos who enter and reside in Sabah illegally are relocated to decent homes masqueraded as a ‘massive crackdown’.

Does my reporting appear preposterous and unbelievable?

It doesn’t especially when one remembers that a racist prick like Ahmad “Chinese-are-Squatters” Ismail is still roaming free while upright lawmakers like Teresa Kok is held behind ISA bars.

Spread the word. Spread this whistle-blowing article.

Let all Malaysians old and young know how the UMNO government is betraying the nation and empowering itself with Project IC citizens.

Project IC: Satu Lagi Projek Kerajaan Barisan Nasional.

7 comments:

Jed Yoong said...

I submitted ur story on Negaraku.Net, a DIGG-like project but Malaysia centric.

Product of the System said...

Oh, thanks.

Will check out the site.

Anonymous said...

Allow me to correct your misconceptions, that being Muslim automatically entitles you to bumiputera..

I am a Muslim - a firm believer,
Yet I am even struggling to get a PR let alone a Citizenship of any sort.
Having lived here for 10 years + already.

But it is harsh to deny those who are born here... They are entitled to citizenship despite being immigrant babies.

The only solution is proper integration of current immigrants and stop of further influx.

You cannot rant about it..
20-30 years down the line they are very much malaysian.

Product of the System said...

Dear Anonymous,

Perhaps you are not in Sabah, or not facing the people i meet everyday at work.

Maybe you are right, or wrong, or maybe we are both right, or wrong.

Regardless, pray, tell, why is it that i see increasing number of young Filipino Muslims posessing genuine Malaysian ICs everyday listing them as Muslim Citizens (Warganegara Islam) every day?

Explain how be it that non-Muslim immigrants, the Catholic Filipinos, the Christian Timorese as well as China Chinese never get such valid documents?

Is not religion a determining criteria in dishing out Malaysian citizenships to Muslim Pakistanis, Filipinos and Indonesians?

The Filipino and Indonesian kids may be as 'Malaysian' as as of us 20-30 years down the line, whatever 'Malaysian' means as an adjective/noun.

Still, the question begging for an answer is, why is the UMNO/BN government handing out citizenships to unskilled and uneducated immigrants while highly trained professionals of a different race and creed are repeatedly denied a PR what more a citizenship?

As i have written before, a consultant general surgeon with international accolades have served Sabah for almost 15 years with no chance of gaining permanent residency.

Thank you for your input.

Anonymous said...

Mendacious Policitian

Quote
“Not long after the March 8th general elections, in which Sabah and Sarawak re-elected the UMNO/BN government back into power, the UMNO government promised a “massive crackdown” on the growing presence of illegal Filipinos in the state of Sabah.

Photos and statements of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak graced the headlines of local dailies, promising and re-promising each day that the Kadazandusuns will once again be able to call Sabah a land of their own instead of giving it up to ID-possessing Filipinos”.
Unquote

The above as well as the before and after snapshots of Kg Likas are misleading and downright mendacious. Ostensibly he has made good his word. With a sleight of hand he has managed to deftly pull a wool over the eyes of Sabahans. It’s galling to think that the ordinary Joes and Janes of Sabah are fobbed off with such false representations.

Quote
“It doesn’t especially when one remembers that a racist prick like Ahmad “Chinese-are-Squatters” Ismail is still roaming free while upright lawmakers like Teresa Kok is held behind ISA bars”.
Unquote

That sorry excuse of a man is a git and a berk.

There is a lesson to be learned here. Correct me if I’m wrong to conclude that if one is a prince of the earth one can make incendiary remarks with impunity but a journalist with journalistic integrity reporting on such inflammatory remarks is thrown behind bars. Defies logic.

Anonymous
Quote
“But it is harsh to deny those who are born here... They are entitled to citizenship despite being immigrant babies. You cannot rant about it.. 20-30 years down the line they are very much Malaysian”.
Unquote

I beg to disagree. Your theory does not hold true. If ethnic Chinese or Indians born and raised in Malaysia are dismissed as mere squatters (never mind the fact that they are fourth or fifth generation Malaysians) who constantly have their rights and prerogatives trampled and treated like dirt what makes you think that the offsprings of illegal immigrants are as much a Malaysian as these mere squatters?

Illegal = not legal, unlawful, outlawed, criminal, felonious, wrongful, prohibited by law, against the law, in violation of statute, regulation or ordinance.

Illegal immigrant = a person who has entered a country in order to live there without having any legal right to do so. A person residing in a country of which he/she is not a citizen and who has no official permission to be there. An illegal alien is a person who has sneaked into the country or stayed beyond the time allowed on a visa.

Since when did one get rewarded for committing a crime or violating the law? And isn’t giving these people citizenships rewarding them for their unlawful behaviour?


Q8-)

adam k. said...

*sigh*

Sarah Elizabeth said...

There is no such thing as an "iilegal" person.. People cannot be illegal.. Think about what you all are saying! What exactly do you suggest happen to these "illegal" immigrants with this "crackdown"?? Should they all be deported or jailed? To me it sounds more like jealousy or resentment of filipinos and indonesian Muslims whom Indians and Chinese would like the same rights as, no? I totally agree that all people should be given the same paths to citizenship and think it is the government's fault that the races and religions have such grudges towards eachother..
But let me just say this, hoping for a crackdown on immigrants will not give more rights to others.. This is the crab mentality my friend.. Pulling others down who have something you want.. Trust me, being an illegal immigrant is not a walk in the park, and obtaining an IC is not as easy as the stereotype... Illegal immigrants are extremely poor, mostly have uneducated children because it is unaffordable, and even if many have IC's, many also do not and have to hide from "checkpoints" etc...
Why not have some empathy for everyone stuck in the crab barrel, no? Illegal Immigrants are illegal because they are running from crappy political and economic instability in their home country.. They are not there because they decided Malaysia is just soo much more fun, no, they left because being poor in Malaysia is better then dying in a war in the philippines...
EMPATHY PEOPLE!!! We all need more empathy for eachother's plights... Are we not all struggling??
What would a crackdown do for you?? Would it not weigh heavy on your mind what is being done with these people?
Poverty and discrimination is poverty and discrimination no matter what race, no matter what the struggle..
I am a White American who stayed in Sandakan and visited the public hospitals, private clinics, and the slums that contained these so called "illegal" human beings.. I saw good people with a hard life and no country to call their own...
The country they are from is poverty stricken and the Phillipines is at a war between north and south, and Malaysia doesn't want them either... They are refugees denied refugee status...
I sympathize/empathize with what is going on with the Indians and Chinese in Malaysia also.. I think equal rights are deserved by all.. But one thing I hate is the treatment of illegal immigrants, as if they are just animals that noone cares about because.. As if their lives are somehow worth less than a citizens life...
I am disgusted by the way immigrants are discriminated against.. Especially in the clinics I went to... Poor immigrant Muslim women were spoken to like they were idiots... The discrimination against filipino Muslims was so apparent.. Yes, by God's grace some were given crappy government housing, but they still are exploited by their employers and given slave wages....
My point is this... We all have a story to tell.. Let's not condemn anyone.