15 September 2018, FB Post.
With regards to this video, I want to bring some points to people's attention. It needs to be looked into it deeply, to correct and to put it to proper perspectives. I am not to let you accept. But here are some facts that people need to know and understand:
1. The Muslims of Sabah did not exist only by 1963. Before the Federation of Malaysia established in 16 September 1963, Sabah has its Muslims inhabitants. There was no such called ‘illegal immigrants’ as issuing identification card was not yet implemented.
2. The British established Company in North Borneo with the agreements signed between Brunei (1877) and Sulu (1761, 1765 and 1878) sultanates. And by these periods the indigenous Muslims have been living side by side with the indigenous non-Muslims.
3. Christianity was established in North Borneo in 1882 after the establishment of British North Borneo. According to a manuscript of Idahan found in Lahad Datu Islam landed on Sabah in 1408. Borneo was ruled by Brunei and Sulu, the Islamic empires, so Islam plays an important part in Sabah history (Sabah Islamic Civilisation Museum).
4. Sabah has a long history of being part of the Sulu and Brunei sultanates and Islam exist and widely practice in Sabah long before the establishment of Malaysia. There are evidences of Islamic tombstones and old mosques in Sabah. And you should not look at the history of Sabah only started from 1963.
5. The so called ‘Sabahan’ are indigenous Muslims and non-Muslims alike. They are composed of more than 30 ethnic groups. It should be noted that many non-Muslim natives in Sabah embraced Islam and moved to the category of being Muslim Bumiputera or Muslim Anak Negeri. They have no issues of being Muslims and non-Muslims. They are against of any exportation of hatred based on religion.
6. As per Interpretation (Definition of Natives) Ordinance of North Borneo in 1952, indigenous Muslims Sabahan are also natives (anak negeri) and not at all ‘illegal immigrants’ and ‘refugees’. It should have been emphasized in this video, so there would be no misconceptions arise towards indigenous Muslims Sabahan.
7. If some Muslims arrived from the Sulu archipelago in 70’s due to war, it just because they have been coming back and forth before the establishment of the Federation of Malaysia in 1963. They are just like the other non-Muslims of the same race who are natives in both Sabah and Kalimantan (Indonesia) as their ancestral domain includes both territories and borders. But their presence in Sabah is not questioned.
8. Just like in West Malaysia, where not all residence at the time of Hari Merdeka was citizens. Hence, the issue of ‘Tamil Stateless’ is being regularised until today. It’s similar to Sabah where not all residence of Sabah at Malaysia Day were citizens as many were deemed undocumented including all the more than 30 indigenous ethnic groups in Sabah. There are huge population in Sabah including the non-Muslims who are still applying for citizenship.
9. For information, many indigenous people in Sabah don’t live by documents but culture and native domain compared to the affluent and 'educated' population in the cities.
10. Many Muslim people in Sabah live in the hundreds of islands and are nomadic. One of their ancestral homelands is in Sabah and its islands. And don't look at the history of this country only during and after Malaysia is established.
11. The Muslims and non-Muslims in Sabah are peacefully living side by side. The issue of religion should not be used to divide these natives. The wild conspiracy theory imposed by irresponsible political forces and racist elements are to divide Sabahans for political purpose.
12. The issue should deeply be corrected and studied, so the story and narrative can be a fair account of all, and so it may not become a one-sided story and ‘racist’ as well as ‘Islamophobic’ in nature.
13. It should be put in a term that Sabah is a vast and complicated state with hundreds of islands with different races of indigenous people (Muslims and non-Muslims alike) who are until today struggling to get documentation, citizenship and their rights due to the political propaganda and poverty as well as logistical issues and illiteracy.
14. This is not discounting that some corrupt officials have in the past issued fake IC’s or documents but it is not specifically limited to Muslim ethnics but including other non-Muslim ethnics that are part of the more than 30 ethnic groups as well as other ethnics from the other part of the world.
Here's the answer of the Newsflash Video Producer, commented in my FB Post:
I am the producer of this episode of Newsflash. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on it. I'm glad that there is an active discussion going on around a topic that has been shushed away for so long.
I wish to apologize as we were not able to go in depth on discussing the nature and religions of indigenous populations in Sabah. No doubt there have been Muslims in the region but because of the time constraint (we try to keep the episode within 8 minutes), we couldn't go in depth.
We did however acknowledge that most of the people that were given documents as part of project IC were the existing population but perhaps we focused too much on the political motivations of state actors.
We will do better next time. Thank you for voicing out your thoughts; it's discussions like these that keep us in check to be more considerate with our work.
Thanks once again.
- Satpal Kaler
19 September 2018
Producer , Newsflash
And Nadira Ilana answered him with this , in the same post:
You can go into depth. Your focus just needs to be more pointed. Political motivations were and always to Malaynise and ethnically absorb Borneo natives (Muslim and non-Muslim alike) into the Malay category because Malaysia was built on Malay supremacy. Hence Article 153 within the Federal Constitution. This is common knowledge in Sabah. The cultural erasure is despicable and should be held in the same gravity as indigenous peoples in Australia and Hawaii et al. Duration is not the issue. It’s the development of the story and idea so you can get to the ‘heart’ of the issue. Not just ‘part’ of the issue.
- Nadira Ilana
And Ecore Prayitno commented in Malay:
Neldy Jolo, Naratif dibina! Banyak saja sebenarnya kalau mahu persoalkan tindakan-tindakan politik era PBS. Malahan, hujah sama digunakan oleh Yusoff Ismail dalam bercerita politik non-Muslim di Sabah. Jadi bila tengok video ini, aku rasa matlamat politiknya lebih besar berbanding kehendaknya untuk menyampaikan maklumat.
- Ecore Prayitno