29/09/2012: THE RCI has been announced and the election is coming very soon.
The BN Government cannot ignore the numerous opposition allegations of foreigners issued with citizenship. It is a known fact that there has been a population explosion in Sabah.
- The Statistics Department shows that the total population of Sabah in 1960 was 648,000 people and in 2010 it was 3,309,700 people which is a whopping increase of 410pc! The Bumiputra breakdown shows that the Kadazan-Dusun was in the majority in 1960 with 167,993 followed by other bumiputras (80,002). the Bajau (61,838) and Malay (0).
- In 2010, the Kadazan-Dusun increased through natural progression to 649,500, Bajau (403,300), Malay category that suddenly seemed to appear from thin air (398,000) and "other bumiputras" (460,200).
- The Kadazan-Dusuns had been minimised. The combined population of Bajau, Malay and other bumiputras is now 1,261,500.
One of the major challenges facing Malaysia is population management.
Some perceive that the continuous influx of illegal immigrants is a result of poor management of foreign labour. But others thinks that is might be a clandestine population engineering work by certain leaders.
The Government officially blames it on irresponsible syndicates and individuals involving corrupt government officials and community leaders out to make quick money.
It has been opined that whatever it maybe, this poses a threat to the country's sovereignty, especially the threat of a reverse takeover of Sabah by the Philippines and/or Indonesia in view of their daily increasing presence whether by design or by default. Who is to blame for this - Sabah Government, Federal Government or both? Entry into Sabah is the purview of Sabah but the execution of the Immigration laws is by the Federal Department of Immigration while the award of citizenship is by the Home Ministry of the Federal Government.
Sabah BN local component parties (Upko, PBS, PBRS, LDP) joined the opposition parties both local based (Star, SAPP) and Peninsular Malaysia-based (DAP, PKR) were vocal in their demand for a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to investigate this matter.
Umno and MCA also later joined in except MIC and Gerakan (all peninsular-based BN components).
The opposition and the local BN component parties are mostly in consensus on the need to resolve the issue.
Upko and PBS are obviously jubilant and felt vindicated claiming championship to the success and expect to celebrate a huge support in the coming GE-13. PBS has in all sincerity rightfully demanded the RCI to go deeper into the investigation.
The opposition had also been promising to form the RCI if it comes to power.
Head of the Commission, Datuk Steve Shim and the rest of the panel members now have the heavy burden of upholding the truth and justice or be greatest scapegoats in history.
The expectation of the people of Sabah and the quarters that demanded the RCI is nothing short of a clean up of the State of illegal immigrants and bogus citizens. They would want to see a lot of arrests of government officials, politicians, syndicates and foreigners; and their prosecution, guilty judgments, imprisonment, expatriation, clean up of the electoral roll, withdrawal of citizenship of thousands of foreigners.
Is it going to happen? If this happens, then BN will become a hero and would most likely be returned with a thumping majority in Sabah.
If it does not, then the opposition will gain their mileage.
What is the perception and the level of acceptance and tolerance of the real Sabahans of all ethnicity towards the new "citizens" who are more economically aggressive having made it in the various fields of business such as transportation (Taxi, bus, trucks), restaurants, trading, minimarkets, night markets, small holders plantations, vegetable farming, fisheries, construction and ownership of Native Title land?
This is a free country where people who are eligible to get citizenship in accordance with the Constitution and the laws of the country but in the case of Sabah has it been an abusive rampage?
Since before independence, the fundamentals of Malayan and later Malaysian politics and policies have been based along racial lines and interests and regional interests contrary to what Tun Dr. Mahathir said that today politics has become more racial than before.
The overall national interest can be said to be the cumulative interest and policies of all races with a common goal of achieving peace, harmony, justice and prosperity for all. The Government performs a tight rope balancing act in order to meet and satisfy the interest of each community and also the various states.
In Malaya the majority communities are Malay, Chinese and Indian while Sabah and Sarawak consists of more that 50 ethnics each.
In Malaya, the Malays who are in the majority are represented by Umno and PAS, the Chinese by DAP, MCA and Gerakan while the Indians by MIC and PPP.
In Sabah Upko was for the Kadazan-Dusun, Usno for the Muslims, SCA for the Chinese and SIC (now defunct) for the Indians. Sarawak's Pesaka is for the Muslims, SUPP for the Chinese and Snap for the Ibans.
Berjaya and PBS were the only parties seen to be truly multi-racial in composition.
We are a long way from the kind of politics practised by the UK and USA where politics is based on philosophy, concepts of universal justice and economic strategies that cuts across racial line.
A sociologist, La Swell defines politics as 'Who gets what, when and how.'
That is to get 'Power' through an electoral process.
The power to formulate laws and policies, to implement policies, administer and govern the distribution of wealth. Power is attain by being in the majority.
Here lies the strength and importance of sustaining the majority of ones own kind in the context of Malaysian racial politics.
The Malaysian Constitution confers special rights to the Malays and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak.
The Malays believe in 'Ketuanan Melayu' (Malay Supremacy) while the natives of Sabah and Sarawak do not subscribe to this belief but accepts their special position.
The natives in Sabah and Sarawak are more amiable to the other non-natives except towards the illegal immigrants.
It is, therefore, natural for Umno to maintain a majority at all times in order to stay in power.
This was said to be the reason for the inclusion of Sabah and Sarawak in the formation of Malaysia as leverage and a counterweight to Singapore's predominantly Chinese population.
Tunku Abdul Rahman found it necessary to oust Singapore from Malaysia eventually which to some quarters, also put the Malaysian Agreement to a potential test of contractual validity.
According to the Federal Constitution, any Muslim who practices the Malay culture and speaks the Malay language is a Malay.
This is a legal avenue by which the Malay majority can be sustained.
Datuk Sri Najib, the PM, said the anybody can be a Malay in Malaysia - Achehnese, Javanese, Bugis, Pakistanis, Bangla, Turks, Arab.
Indian Muslim, Mamak, etc.
- Tun Dr, Mahathir's economic vision of making Malaysia a developed nation by the year 2020, envisage the need for a population of 70 million people to support and sustain a domestic market for Malaysian produced goods although this belief has been challenged. Where would the population come from?
- Natural progression would be too slow.
- The fastest would be to import the desired group of people.
By the same token, we do not see many new Buddhists, Sikhs, Christians and Hindus becoming citizens of Malaysia in Sabah. One might suppose that they are not interested(?). The national government can confer citizenship to anyone considered to be of national interest in the shortest possible time.
Who would be of national interest? The government of the day decides that.
Was the infamous so-called "Project IC" believed to have started during the Berjaya era a strategy to counterbalance the weight of the Kadazandusun and Chinese which put the party in power in 1976?
After the fall of Berjaya and the rise of the Kadazan-Dusun based multiracial PBS in the 1980s-1990s, there was a sudden rise in the foreign Muslim population. Former CM Tan Sri Harris had openly admitted that it is the Federal Government policy to accept and grant express citizenship to any Muslim whom and when the government deems to be of national interest. But what if the same group of BN's "fixed deposit" people decide to switch camp to the opposition?
- Questions have also be asked as to whether the feelings of the local Muslim Sabahans have been taken into account. In fact so many local Muslims have blood ties with the Kadazan-Dusun people.
- There is no animosity between the local Muslims and the non-Muslim natives in Sabah.
- One can find different religions being practiced in one family.
Dr. Mahathir (DE 29.6.2012) is now saying that Umno needs the Chinese support to form the Government, when not too long ago he said Umno did not need the Chinese and other BN components to form the Government.
Would the RCI find no irregularity and illegality and, thereby, endorse the granting of citizenship to all those already given Malaysian I.C.?
It would be interesting to know what its findings would be and what proposals would be taken, if any, to resolve the issue.
By: Darshan Singh