Sunday, February 20, 2011

Malays in Sabah grow by 1,552%!!!

"Look, in those 30 years the Kadazan-Dusun-Murut community grew by
162% – a population growth that makes sense.

"But those classified as Malay grew by a staggering 1,552%. The
federal government hasn't given any solid explanation for this
staggerring rise," Chong said.

It also does not make sense for Kadazan community because in Sarawak,
population growth is only 106% and Brunei 157%. Brunei's growth is due
to immigrants from Malaysia.

It shows that there are also many migrants within the Kadazan
community as well.

As for Malays increasing at such rapid rate, it is due to immigration
from West Malaysia where everybody call themselves Malays as long as
they are Muslims.

I doubt Filipinoes will call themselves Malays because they can always
call themselves Bajau, which is one of the natives of Sabah.

However these Filipinoes like to pretend that they are West Malaysian
Malays, imitating the West Malaysian Malay dialect.

The most vocal groups in SAbah are the Kadazan Dusun communities
because they feel that they are swamped by Muslims reducing their
political influence. But this community is now supporting the current
BN government that allows this situations to occur through parties
such as PBS, UPKO and PBRS.

Sabah's tale of woes
February 20, 2011

Beyond the touristy Kota Kinabalu waterfront lies the 'hazy' reality
of Sabah's fragile social fabric.

Saturday afternoons at the markets flanking the Kota Kinabalu
waterfront are a casual affair. Tourists stroll the walkways toting
cameras, families finish buying their day's groceries, the smell of
pickled vegetables and fresh fruit intoxicates.

A line of tailors steal a nap during the lazy, shady hours. It's quite
a delight seeing those vintage Singers still in use.

And as a solitary machine goes "shik-shik-shik" in the background, the
issue about Sabah's fragile "social" fabric crops up again.

Interwoven in this tapestry is a generation of carefree children, who
neither read nor write, and who each morning leave their homes in the
settlements at Pulau Gaya and come ashore to the city's waterfront
seeking menial work – dishwashing, food preparation and packaging.

Is it fair that these children, innocent of any crime, be deprived of
a promising future because of negligence by their hosts? To them a
high-income economy and the New Economic Model are meaningless.

This is the tale of Sabah that has seen a population increase by a
stupefying 301% in 30 years (1970-2000), a phenomenon that surely
needs to be investigated closely.

Especially since neighbours Sarawak grew by 106%, and Brunei 157% in
the same time-frame.

Said former Sabah senator and activist Dr Chong Eng Leong: "Sabah's
borders were deliberately kept porous. You could enter and leave it
like a sieve."

Chong believes that foreigners and the contentious Project IC are two
of the biggest issues facing Sabah for over two decades.

Project IC, or more pointedly Project M, refers to the "allegation of
systematic granting of citizenship to immigrants (whether illegal or
legal) by giving them identity documents known as IC (identity card),
and subsequently, MyKad" .

It is an alleged covert exercise with its roots in the early 1990s to
alter the demographics of Sabah to make it more favourable to the
ruling government and certain political parties.

"Look, in those 30 years the Kadazan-Dusun-Murut community grew by
162% – a population growth that makes sense.

"But those classified as Malay grew by a staggering 1,552%. The
federal government hasn't given any solid explanation for this
staggerring rise," Chong said.

Damning evidence

But despite the issue being common conversation in the warongs and
kopitiams here and, to some degree, in the local media, investigations
into Project IC never quite reached a satisfactory momentum nor

Chong believes it's because the evidence is damning – it shows up in
the daily life of Sabah.

Chong has self-published a book, "Lest We Forget" (Security and
Sovereignty of Sabah), in July 2009 – a compilation of hard facts and
newspaper clippings to create public awareness of Project IC.

"Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against foreigners…They are human
beings who seek a better life; borders mean nothing to them.

"It is the lack of a political will in both the federal and state
governments to resolve this problem that gets me (upset)… They refuse
to even acknowledge it's a problem.

"Here they (foreigners) are considered a vote bank. I have collated
the reports and evidence in my book," said Chong.

He said the worst thing about Project IC and the influx of these
immigrants is the humanitarian aspect.

"You have brought (them) in as a vote bank, offered them MyKad, given
them Bumiputera status, perhaps resettled them somewhere…

"You are expected to remain grateful. No education for your children.
No proper sanitary system. No refuse collection – rubbish is disposed
of in the sea or burned in some common dumpyard nearby.

"It's an epidemic waiting to happen," he said between conversations
with the local traders at the KK Handicraft Market, commonly known
here as Pasar Filipina.

Tragic Sabahan

Chong, who speaks a variety of local dialects, believes that to
properly understand the issue of Project IC, one needs to walk the
problem. And that was what he did: one Saturday last year, he took
this writer from the Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia blogsite on a

The most tragic part of the problem is that Project IC has left the
genuine local Sabahan with the short end of the stick.

"You know, conditions are even worse for the natives of Sabah. Visit
their kampungs scattered all over Sabah if you can.

"They get no water or electricity supply. Let's not even mention
schools for the moment.

"We have many cases of true-blue Sabah natives who were denied MyKad
even though they have birth certificates to prove their case.

"How can a government do this to its own people?" Chong asked.

From the charm of the KK waterfront, Chong took us across the scenic
Likas Bay to Telipok, about 30 km away.

Here, two government-initiated settlements have sprung up over the

Hazy meaning of "Malaysian'

Atop a hill lies Kampung Boronuon. The residents prefer to call it
Kampung Penempatan – resettled.

They were resettled from Pulau Gaya in 2001. Back then, the mayor of
Kota Kinabalu had assured the people of Telipok that the Pulau Gaya
resettlers were Malaysians.

But in this part of the world, as we were beginning to see, the
meaning of "Malaysian" can be as hazy as smog from the annual
Kalimantan fires.

In his book, "Lest We Forget", Chong cites numerous cases of dubious
citizenship. Here is a sampling:

• A Pulau Gaya fag smuggler admitted in court he is a Philippine-born
Malaysian, but his new IC is coded 12, that is, born in Sabah. His old
IC number was H0558763, and is still registered on the Sabah electoral
rolls today.

• One foreigner was convicted in 1992 for possession of fake IC and he
told the court that he got his IC through Project President Mahathir
(appendix 51 of book). He was jailed for two years and managed to get
registered in 1995 on Sabah electoral rolls after his release – was he
deported but later sneaked back? His old IC number was H0487096 and is
still on Sabah electoral rolls today.

• Salman Majid – arrested in March 2005 at KLIA and detained for 199
days at the immigration centre in Sepang… Salman stated in the "Sijil
Akuan" that he was born in Ranau, Sabah, when in fact he was born in
Pakistan. His old and new IC numbers were H0352141 and 620202-12-5053

Salman had reportedly said about his IC: "Pada tahun 80′an saya telah
ditawarkan kad pengenalan di Sabah semasa Projek Khas. Saya telah
menerima tawaran itu bersama dengan beribu-ribu rakyat Sabah yang
lain." (In the 1980s, I was offered an identity card in Sabah under
the a speical project. I accepted the offer together with thousands of
other people in Sabah.)

Down in the valley from Kampung Penempatan lies a serpentine grouping
of houses. This is Kampung Pelarian, otherwise known as the UNHCR
Settlement Scheme. It was established in the 1970s under the care of
the UN for Filipinos fleeing from the civil war in the southern

Growing settlements

Although the war has long since ended and UN funds ceased, the land
continues to be inhabited.

Instead of diminishing in number, more houses are being built in this
area. A 2006 Borneo Post report said more than 1,000 dwellings are
occupying the land and growing.

In both these neighbouring settlements, life isn't super.

There aren't many in terms of amenities; there's electricity and water
supply. Waste just goes into a hole or a waterway. The residents are a
hardy lot. But the story repeats – no schooling.

At about 3pm that afternoon, we noticed a dusty van passing in front
of us along the narrow, winding lane. It stopped not far ahead, its
body listed to one side because of the potholes.

A couple of young girls – no more than 15 years old and dressed in
Tees and jeans – boarded the van.

Were they heading for their day jobs as dish-washers or other menial
jobs at the market, we wondered? Or rather, we hoped.

For it could easily be something even worse. Something like

It is not mere imaginings. Another excerpt from Lest We Forget:

• Six girls in vice activities in Perak in March 2002 were initially
said to be Sabahans but Sabah police chief later on corrected by
saying that they were Indonesians whose Malaysian ICs were issued by
Sabah NRD.

If all this is true, then Project IC is not merely about the story of
a power-crazed government pulling out all the stops to retain its

It is also about the social repercussions which hurt the state and the
very people who were invited inside our borders.

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