“Malaysia Is Still Supplying Arms And Logistics To The MILF”

“Some analysts are now saying that had Oplan Merdeka succeeded, it would have resulted in Sabah seceding from Malaysia, just like Singapore. Sabah could have formed its own independent state. And this development could have helped avoid, or at least mitigate, the problem in Mindanao.” [...]

Sabah, which when roughly translated means “the land beneath the winds,” was bequeathed to the Sultanate of Sulu by the Sultan of Brunei as a reward for helping the latter in driving its enemies.” [...]

“It is understandable that Malaysia would prefer a Bangsamoro homeland to be set up in Mindanao rather than in Sabah. And the more the Filipino Muslims will be preoccupied with fighting in Min­danao, the more they will forget about the Sabah claim. [...]

“It is not even far-fetched to imagine that Malaysia is still supplying arms and logistics to the MILF while brokering a peaceful settlement between the rebels and the government.” [...]

Read the whole article, “The genesis of the Moro problem” from the Manila Times and decide for yourself what kind of analysis this man is trying to make.

No Peace Deal In Southern Philippine. So, No Prospect For Filipino Illegals In Sabah?

[Photo by AP] If everything had gone according to plan, the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) would have been able to sign a landmark peace deal in Putrajaya, the Malaysian administrative capital, today.

No peace

The signing ceremony, called “Ancestral Domain Memorandum Signing Ceremony between the Phillipine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)” was to be held at the Putrajaya Marriott Hotel at 11 am.

The deal was to create an expanded homeland of the Bangsamoro in southern Philippine island of Mindanao.

However, an unexpected setback had reared its head just 24 hours before the ceremony, pushing the peace prospect in Mindanao back to the drawing board.

And possibly, back to the battlefront.

Court injunction

The setback was in the form of a court order issued by Philippine Supreme Court after politicians in the south filed an application, asking the court to halt the ceremony.

The politicians claimed that the signing was unconstitutional as it could “carve up the southern island of Mindanao into Muslim enclaves.”

What it could have been

The agreement would entail the widening of the existing autonomous region for Muslims in the south, thus offering them broader political and economic powers.

The court had sent Aug 15 to hear the claims that the proposed deal was unconstitutional.

What it means to Sabah

I can only think of one thing — it will give more reason for the undocumented Filipinos to remain in Sabah or to return to the state upon deportation.

Although most of the Filipino immigrants did not come from Mindanao, a peace deal in the area would have uplifted the spirit of the people in the neighbouring areas such as those living in islands in the Sulu Sea.

Maybe it’s true

… that the burden of peace is often heavier than the burden of war, because only the supremely strong people are able to uphold peace.

I rest my expletives!

A Fertile Land That Lies Wasted

This is my own comment I posted in this entry titled, “Heirs Of Sulu Sultan Say, “Okay, We Drop Our Claim On Sabah“.

I guess the comment deserves an entry of its own. Here’s is the comment, with some editing:

“I travelled quite a lot in the Southern Philippines in 1995-2000. It’s a shame that the area is mired in poverty. It really is a fertile land, with rolling hills and blue seas and dozens of beautiful islands.

But something must have gone wrong in the area in the last century and I blamed it squarely on the Sultan of Sulu for failing to reign over the area and the Philippine government for neglecting it.

Now they are looking at the shining new diamond called Sabah right at their doorstep and say… “hey, that diamond is mine”.

If something is not done, the area will remain trapped in their pre-1950s condition and it would be painful for the people there to see its neighbours are galloping quite confidently into the 21st century…

“I’d Rather Be Arrested In Sabah Than Having My Family Mired In Poverty In Southern Philippines”

For deported Filipinos, it’s Sabah or bust” says the title of an article in The Philippine Daily Inquirer dated July 24.

It quoted one Basit Nur as saying that being detained at the Ruma Mera “was more bearable than seeing my family mired in poverty” in southern Philippines.

“Shame can’t be eaten. What’s important is a job to sustain one’s family,” he said.

[Filipino illegal immigrants awaiting deportation at the Menggatal detention centre or "rumah merah". Pix courtesy of My Say blog]

Ruma Mera or rumah merah (the red house) refers to the detention centres in Sabah of which rooftops are invariably painted with red.

Outsmarting the police

Malaysian police and other authorities, please take note. The report further said :

Asked if he was planning to return to Sabah, Nur said: “I will. Even if I don’t have the money for the processing of my papers here, I will find other ways to return. And I will make sure that I will outsmart the police there.”

As a father I share his sentiment

No. Not the sentiment about outsmarting the police but rather, the determination to feed the family.

I too, will do anything within my means to feed my family because as the song says, “what is a man, what has he got, if not himself, then he has naught”.

But I will do anything too to protect the livelihood of my family, in my country, from being threatened by another man, who is equally determined to do anything to feed his family, including encroaching into my territory.

So, while I do have sympathy for fathers like Basit, I’ve also accepted the fact that life is never easy. So if Basit is arrested and deported, too bad but that should be the way.

And people like Basit can do themselves a great favour by coming to Sabah properly documented if livelihood is what they are really looking for.

Pin-drop silence in the Philippine press

Stories like this makes for a good read in the Philippine press. But I don’t understand why the silence about taking the Philippine government task for the lack of development in southern Philippines?

Why blame the Malaysian government for deporting Filipinos and not the Philippine government for failing to take care of its own people in the south?

Heirs Of Sulu Sultan Say, “Okay, We Drop Our Claim On Sabah”

Nine “heirs” of the Sultan of Sulu have agreed to drop their claim on Sabah, saying they were now “willing to surrender their rights” to the North Bornean state.

The Star newspaper quoted one Datu Omar Ali Datu Backtiyal as saying that he had obtained the signatures of the nine heirs of the late Sultan Mohamat Jamal Al Alam agreeing to relinquish their claim last year.

Sabah claim, a footnote in a library

Well, as far as this blog is concern, the so-called Sabah claim is just that — a claim; a footnote in a library of books.

A footnote, therefore, cannot rise to claim to be the whole book.

Let’s see… Sabah is being claimed by at least three parties — the Philippine government, Nur Misuari and the Sulu Sultan (whoever he is).

I wonder why the preoccupation with Sabah when they could not even take care of their own backwater — those islands in the Sulu Sea.

I guess it has got to do with looks. Sabah is beautiful and prosperous. Their backwater, though beautiful but due to decades of neglect, is no longer attractive.

Reverse claim

Tell you what, why don’t someone among the Sulu heirs make a reverse claim… ask the Philippine government to let go southern Philippines and then apply to join Malaysia as its 14th state?

Then they can make one of the Sulu Sultans the Yang Dipertua Negeri Sulu and appoint someone from the area as the Chief Minister and form a whole cabinet.

Caribbean of the East

That way, we can co-exist nicely. Then we can develop together.

Jack SparrowHeck, we can make the waters in the east coast of Sabah and the islands towards the east as the Caribbean of the East. But the people of Sulu should promise one thing la… they will have to surrender their guns to the authorities.

We want no Jack Sparrow in the Caribbean of the East.

The people should now fight another kind of war, the one fought in the economic battlefront. What say you?