The Prime Minister recently announced 11 goodies and one of which is to expedite birth registration in Sabah and Sarawak.It is good news for Sabahans who failed to register their births either out of ignorance or due to logistic problem especially those in the rural areas where most of the problem lies.It is good news and bad news.
Sabah is a hotbed for illegal immigrants and has been a torn in the flesh for many Sabahans since USNO days when the then Chief Minister Tun Mustapha Harun, with Federal government blessings, allowed his kinsmen from the Southern Philippines to enter Sabah freely as refugees.From a few thousands the number has over the years exploded to a few hundred thousand and increasing.The multiplier effect is mind boggling.They are not refugees in the real sense.Majority are economic refugees seeking employment and a better life away from their impoverished existence back home.
The presence of both Filipino and Indonesia illegal immigrants had become a thorny issue and it wouldn't be wrong to assume there are more of them than us, the real Sabahans.Even more worrying many have, legally or otherwise, obtained Malaysian identity cards giving them illegibility to vote. The table below shows Sabah population growth in comparison to Sarawak.
|Population growth in Sabah and Sarawak |
between 1970 and 2005
|Sabah||648,693||1,1013,003 (56%)||1,808,848 (78%)||2,603,400 (44%)||3,250,000|
|Sarawak||976,269||1,235,553 (27%)||1,642771 (33%)||2,012,616 (23%)||2,300,000|
|Number within brackets: rates of increase.|
From the table we can see that between 1970 and 2000, the population of Sabah grew by 1,954,707 or 301%, while the figure for Sarawak was 1,036,347 or 106%. In other words, Sabah's population grew at a rate three times faster than Sarawak!
Excuse my language, are Sabahans men better fuckers than our brothers in Sarawak.I'll leave that to you wild imagination.Unfortunately, for whatever reasons, the Federal government has not been very cooperative in solving this problem.
My focus is on the recent seminar organised by Majaps (Council of Justices of the Peace Sabah) and SLA (Sabah Law Association) attended by lawyers,JPs, judges,politicians and the general public.The session was chaired by President of SLA Datuk John Sikayun.Many good things have come out of this seminar on the rules and regulations proposed on the issuance of late registration of birth certificate.
The one that should be seriously considered for implementation is the proposal by Tan Sri Bernard Dompok and Philip Lasimbang and supported by the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjun for applications of late birth registration to be displayed at the kampong, District Office or newspaper. It would be even better if all three can be done to give wider coverage to enable the authority to detect fraudulent applications through objections from the public.Magistrate can only endorse applications when he is fully satisfied with the information provided by witnesses.If I may add the display at the kampong and District Office should be kept for at least thirty days before the application can be heard.
If I may indulge in my personal experience in this unfair or I would say unconstitutional ways the Nati0nal Registration treated Sabahans and Sarawakians in depriving them of their rightful citizenship.Some 30 years ago I employed a Kadazan girl from Penampang to work in my office as a secretary.At the time of interview I sighted her identity card and was surprised it was red in colour.I asked her since she is Kadazan how come she has red I/C which means she is either stateless or a permanent residence status.This is where circumstances and ignorance has deprived the poor girl of her citizenship.According to her she was born in Brunei a few years after Malaysia Day and her father registered her birth in Brunei instead of in Sabah.When she came back to Sabah still as a child the government refused to give her citizenship and gave her the red I/C instead.The ridiculous thing is both her parents are Malaysians and she is not. Dorie worked for my company for five years before leaving for greener pasture.I hope she has secured her citizenship by now.
The Sabah government under Chief Minister Musa Aman should pursue this with the Federal government to fund all related costs including logistic costs of the Mobile Court which was mooted by Chief Judge of Sabah And Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjun.He should be lauded for this brilliant idea and one that can protect us from fraudulent applications by foreigners.
It is also imperative that the JPN should not be allowed to conduct the exercise without participation of the Mobile court and all related costs including advertisement in newspaper and costs incurred by the Mobile Court be paid by the National Registration Department.
A transcription of the seminar appeared in today's Sunday edition of the Daily Express.
More such seminar should be held to gether public views on issues of great concern to Sabahans.