Sabah and new Sabahans

BN has stated that there is no need for a commission review illegal immigrants, which means the Sabah MPs all of them minus one believe that illegal immigrants are not a threat to Sabah. So what will Sabahans do now?

The concept of planting a favourable population for political domination is not new.

The English in order to foster greater control in Catholic Ireland, organised the migration of Scottish people to Ireland. The Scots are Celts like the Irish, but they are Protestant Celts largely, and therefore increasing the number of Protestants in Ireland will increase the control the English can exert on Ireland.

Sounds familiar?

So did Suharto when he continued the practice of sending Javanese to the other islands to deal with Javanese overpopulation, for it also helped them secure political control in those islands. Today, the street battles between locals of those islands ( read Ambon, Papua, East Timor, Kalimantan etc) and first & second generation Javanese repeat in cycles.

Is a Kalimantan born resident with Javanese born parents any less a Kalimantanese (if that phrase exists)? Or would a Presbyterian Nothern Irish lad appear less Irish, because his forefathers were led to Ireland by the English? Or would the Bombay family that fled to Pakistan Punjab in 1947 any less Pakistani because they have many relations back in Bollywood?

Sabahans are correctly bitter that in order to usurp the old power ethnic groups ( Kadazans & Chinese) the Filipinos were escorted in to increase the Muslim vote count. Since the Stephens’ days there has only been one catholic Chief Minister. And the whole thing has reeked of political mayhem from the word go.

However the question is, since this has been going for more than a quarter of a century, what are we to to with the second generation Muslim Filipinos who now only know of Sabah as home? Are these people because of the contentious manner in which they were included into the Sabah census less Sabahan than those who have family lineage to say a hundred years?

It is important that when we look at the wrong inflicted on present Sabahans before, we also consider the potential wrongs we might inflict on a group of people who are now assimilated into Sabah life.

We have to keep in mind too that all Sabahans who are Muslim irrespective of how long they have been Sabahans are not singular in view and think. There are those are more state driven, and believe in reverting to the Malaysia Agreement, and there are sycophants of the Federal government and try to up their false Malayness by their virtue of being UMNO members. And a whole bunch more who fall neither nor there, and those who are just members of rock bands.

The point is, sometimes in our fancy political analytics we forget that people are heterogenous more often than not.

Therefore there will be another consideration the longer it takes for Sabah to confront its legal, pseudo legal and legal migrants. What should we do?

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