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Amidst Sabah’s 1.9 mil stateless people

 | January 8, 2014

DiAmbang: Stateless in Sabah is a video documentary that stalks the lives of two undocumented families in Lahad Datu.

KUALA LUMPUR: With just six days to go to meet their deadline to raise US$10,000 (RM30,000), producers of DiAmbang: Stateless in Sabah, have made an open appeal to Malaysians to support their bid to release the video.

The video which offers a peek into the stateless situation in Sabah is produced and directed by two Malaysian women – Azliana Aziz, 28 and Vilashini Somiah 29.

The duo are now wanting to release the documentary but need to raise just over US$5,000 (RM15,000) to pay for copyrights on news clippings, music scores and final touch-ups.

Azliana is from Johor while Vilashini is Sabahan. Both are currently pursuing their master degrees in Ohio University in USA.

After years of trudging the corridors of the academia in Malaysia and failing to secure support for their contentious project, they finally found reprieve in the USA.

Together with cinematographer Mathew Filmore, the duo began filming in 2012 and concluded the location shoot last year amidst the Lahad Datu incursion.

Their accidental presence amidst the insurgency gave them a frightening and deeper insight into the lives and state of the stateless.

DiAmbang: Stateless in Sabah is a video documentary that stalks the lives of two families – Ebelyn Salih, a Suluk-Bajau, and Abdul Han, a Bajau sea gypsy.

The video was shot in Lahad Datu, where the bloody Feb 9, 2012 invasion by the Sulu terrorists took place.

Azliana, the producer of the documentary has made an open appeal for support in the video which also offers expert opinions on the situation of the stateless in Sabah.

Also interviewed are Simon Sipaun, chairman of the Association for the Promotion of Human Rights, Borneo Heritage Foundation chairman and politician Jeffrey Kitingan and Wan Sahawaluddin, a senior lecturer in University Malaysia Sabah.

All three offer insights into the history, issues and presence of Sabah’s estimated 1.9 million undocumented immigrants who are primarily from neighbouring Indonesia and southern Philippines.

View the video here


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