Credit must go to Chief Minister Musa Aman for convincing Putrajaya to go ahead with the RCI despite the 'hidden hand' of Umno vice-president Shafie Apdal.
After so many years, this issue is finally being investigated and being given the utmost attention by the federal government, which is actually responsible for the mess Sabah is in today.
The announcement also confirmed that former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak are at loggerheads.
Mahathir’s politically provocative statement on the eve of Najib’s announcement of the RCI was aimed at creating tensions within Sabah Barisan Nasional and sabotaging the RCI.
But his attempt failed. Now it is proven that Mahathir was all along making systematic attempts to change the political demography of Sabah under his adminstration at the expense of the local indigenous population.
Mahathir’s use of history to justify free movement of foreigners into Sabah is seriously flawed, and by his own logic, he seemed to justify the Philippines’ claim on Sabah.
Credit must go to Chief Minister Musa Aman for working behind the scenes to convince all parties within Sabah Umno to accept the RCI for the good of Sabah.
Believe me, it must have been really very difficult for Musa as there are warlords like Umno vice-president Shafie Apdal – who is closely aligned to Mahathir – who are opposing the RCI and are manipulating Putrajaya in the process.
Some time back there were claims that the socio-politico problems in Sabah were the result of the presence of millions of illegals and, if not controlled in time, would exterminate for ever the local native Kadazan-Dusun Murut (KDM) communities.
I can understand why some people think this way. But are the problems that Sabah has witnessed, especially in recent times, enough to exterminate this intelligent and creative tribe?
Understandably the issue of illegal immigrants is enormous and the problems that have taken place in Sabah are serious.
A national population census in 2010 showed an exponential 390% increase in Sabah’s population. In 1970, Sabah had 636,431 citizens. In 2010, it was 3.12 million.
Of the 3.12 million Sabahans today, reports have estimated that 27% are foreigners.
People like Mahathir or groups responsible for allowing the illegals to swamp Sabah use their own peculiar discourses and through them, they try to rationalise their actions even though these people know very well that such actions would hurt or affect the lives of the indigenous people of Sabah.
Whatever be the context in which they justify their actions, my strong contention is that no human action should be at the expense of the “common good” of Sabah.
Selvarajah Somiah is a geologist and freelance writer. He blogs at selvarajasomiah.wordpress.com.