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A joke to consider Sabah part of P’pines
Published on: Sunday, February 04, 2018

By Datuk John Lo
THIS is not politics.

It should not and must never be. Sabahan politicians must not exploit it to score points for the coming election.

Most unethical to even entertain such a thought. It is about Malaysia’s sovereignty and all that we love about Sabah, respect for each other and the unique racial and religious harmony that we, as Sabahans, have enjoyed since time immemorial. I am talking about the ridiculous claim on Sabah by The Philippines for the umpteen time.

Though this claim is troublesome and tiresome, Sabahans should take it seriously. Don’t let our guard down.

This claim has popped up once in a while when Filipino politicians want to divert their own political troubles from the miseries of the Filipinos or they want to play hero. It has resurfaced in the proposed Filipino Federation by former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel. He is a member of the committee for the restructure of Philippines system into a federation. He wanted Sabah to be included into the Filipino Federation.

Sabah would be the 13th State in this Federation. His idea sent a chill down my spine.

I am therefore very happy that Tan Sri Musa has issued a straight-to-the-point-no-nonsense response to the Filipino claim on Sabah on 31 January 2018. Musa’s message is very clear – we do not want to be part of this Filipino Federation or any of part of The Philippines whatever form. We have refused before, we now wish to reaffirm again, either now or anytime in the future. Thanks but no thanks Mr. Pimentel.

A couple of leaders, eyeing to score political points, have offered platitudes in asking the Federal Government to do something about this claim. Such platitudes are not helpful or nearly enough in view that this has been going on unresolved since the formation of Malaysia To Filipino politicians, this Sabah claim is a convenient political football to be kicked as and when to their liking.

This stupid saga has gone on long enough. We the people of Sabah must protest in the strongest terms to those political goons in Manila that we, as Sabahans, have gained independence and have made our decision to be Malaysians. The colonial era during which people can be treated like goats and sheep to be transferred here and there has long past. We have made up our minds to be Malaysians. The Manila Government has no right over us.

The Manila Government has never bothered to treat us like human people, has never considered our feelings, as if we don’t exist.

I don’t know much about the historical and legal ramifications over this Filipino claim.

As far as I am concerned, we, as Sabahans, have decided to be independent through Malaysia, that is the end of it. History can be used to justify all sorts of claims. Can Spain or US now claim ownership of The Philippines as it was, at one time, their colony?

To stretch it really far back, can China claim ownership of Japan and Korea as these people were originally Chinese one thousand years ago?

Besides being an independent people, we Sabahans do not wish to part of The Philippines for a number of reasons which I will highlight hereunder.

Malaysia, has many problems but our government is much better than that of The Philippines.

Whatever problems Malaysians may have, the Filipino problems are 10 or more times worse.

The Philippines have [a] a serious drug addiction, so bad that President Duterte has ordered “shoot to kill” campaign, [b] much more corruption, [c] much weaker government system [d] terrible poverty.

The number of slum dwellers in Manila alone is probably 50pc of the population of KL, [e] the most fearsome is the Filipino gun culture. Shooting is as rampant as in USA. Wheras political rivals can shoot their opponent dead on the golf course? Pistols, even assault rifels are easily available. [f] this country is in perpetual war fighting against one another. The war in Southern Philippines has never stopped. [g] its land law is messy, [h] its economy is in a shamble and is being monopolized by a few families. The mother of all fear is – if ever Sabah is to be part of The Philippines, God forbids, a gun-flaunting and marauding Filipino horde of 10 million or more will “invade” Sabah. Very scary.

The Philippines is almost a failed state. Its economy is so badly managed that there is no job for the ordinary Filipinos. Its greatest export is Filipino workers. Its biggest source of foreign exchange is repatriation of wages from these poor Filipinos slogging overseas.

Why would Sabahans want to be part of The Philippines?

Why would these Filipino leaders in Manila think we want to be part of The Philippines when their own people in the Southern Philippines have voted with their feet to escape from war and poverty to come to Sabah, to escape the terrible neglect that successive Manila governments have inflicted upon them. They have been incapable, I would say, have totally failed to look after their own people.

As the Filipino claim is a very serious a matter. We must put a stop to this. I hope those Sabahan leaders who have been vocal on the “loss of rights” to the Federal Government will be even more vociferously outspoken on this matter. After all, logically speaking, what is the loss of rights compared to prospects of Sabah being hijacked and become the 13th State of The Philippines. If these same leaders fail to protest in the strongest possible terms against this claim, something must be terribly wrong with their priority.

The most appropriate way for Sabahans to tell the Filipino politicians and the world of our distaste of their claim in the clearest manner is for top leaders of all political parties [in government and opposition] to made a joint declaration of solidarity and unity with Musa in his official capacity as the Chief Minister of Sabah.

They must remember this is not a political issue as I have said earlier. We can send the clearest and most succinct message if all of them can put their differences aside and gather together on the same stage to sign this declaration that Sabahans are Malaysians and do not wish to be part of the Filipino Federation.

Those heads of political parties in Sabah not wishing to do so owe all Sabahans an explanation for their refusal.

Their silence, which I hope will be none, will be seen as their implicit support and endorsement for Sabah to be part of The Philippines.

It is time we Sabahans tell these Manila politicians to buzz off.

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