By : JOE FERNANDEZ
THE SULUKS are the next big wave in Malaysian politics, indeed a political tsunami, after Hindraf's makkal sakthi (people power in Tamil) in 2008. Why not?
There are an estimated 800,000 Suluks in Sabah albeit including illegal immigrants. The fear of such a political tsunami is evident in the declaration of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) and the Eastern Sabah Safety Zone (ESSZONE).
It may be time to say makkal sakthi in Suluk!
No one can begrudge the right of the Suluks to stand up and be heard separate from the concerns and dictates of Putrajaya in Sabah and Sarawak.
But the Suluk and their Bajau comrades in politics have to keep in mind that they are not Orang Asal (Original People) in Sabah. Sabahans can still point to the ancestral lands of the Suluk and Bajau elsewhere in the Philippines. As long as these two communities remember that, their politics in will be more acceptable in Sabah. It would not do to underestimate the Orang Asal of Sabah.
Orang Asal support crucial to Suluk politics
If the Suluks want to have one leg in the Sulu Archipelago and another leg in the east coast of Sabah that's entirely their business. After all the kakas from Kerala who sell rojak in Malaya and the teh tarik mamaks from Tamil Nadu are doing it as well besides the Pakistanis and Banglawallahs in Sabah. Throw in the odd ah pek or two. But just in case anyone gets some funny ideas, they should remember that eastern Sabah is not part of the territory of the Orang Asal in the Sulu Archipelago.
If the Suluks want one of their kind to be Chief Minister of Sabah again, they have to sort it out with the Orang Asal. No one, Orang Asal or non-Orang Asal, can be Chief Minister of Sabah without the support of the Orang Asal. The late Mustapha Harun, the Suluk Chief, learnt it the hard way.
The Chinese will follow wherever the Orang Asal are going, a direction which is by no means clear to most people. This is a synergistic relationship between one group which has unfortunately never learnt to count and another which can buy at a loss and sell at a profit since time immemorial. Granted that many Orang Asal leaders are stooges of Putrajaya's proxies and rogue elements in Sabah but that's a different story.
We have to keep on the safe side and assume that there might be some method in their madness.
It's not always the rice wine -- tuak, lihin or montokou -- talking! That could prove to be deceptive.
One should also note their more sober moments and take the cue from there.
Putrajaya leaders should be hauled before ICC for war crimes
Nur Misuari of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is also the man to watch if Suluk politics in Sabah is to get anywhere. Poor chap! Everyone is playing him out and his people.
Putrajaya is the Chief Culprit.
They have blood on their hands.
Think of all the thousands of innocent people on both sides who died in vain when they were not maimed for life, and traumatised.
Nur Misuari is right in pointing out that Malaysia is the main stumbling block to peace in the southern Philippines. Right is right and wrong is wrong. He should know what he's talking about. He admits to being trained, armed and financed by Malaysia to wage war against the Manila Government in the southern Philippines under the guise of Muslim Brotherhood, whatever it means.
In fact, there's a case for bringing Putrajaya before the International Criminal Court for war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and genocide in southern Philippines. If every tinpot dictator in Africa, the Balkans and elsewhere can be hauled up before the ICC, why not the Malaysia Boleh leaders in Putrajaya committing a multitude of sins under this nefarious label. The involvement of Mustapha should be revisited too although the Suluks would beg to disagree. We can't indulge in selective prosecution.
We can only wish Nur Misuari well at the peace talks in Jakarta but without Malaysia.
Case for a Federation of Sabah and Sulu if Manila gives up Archipelago
However, Suluk politics must accept that Sabahans and Sarawakians will disagree with him saying that Sarawak belonged to his great great grandfather or something to the effect. He's not Orang Asal Sarawak. End of discussion.
The Suluks in Sabah must also accept that defunct Sulu Sultanate also does not have a leg to stand on Sabah or parts of it. It’s unthinkable that the Suluks, after having fled the evil of the Manila Government, would want Sabah or parts of it to be awarded to the Philippines. If the Suluks can wrest the Sulu Archipelago away from the Philippines, there might be a case for forming a Federation of Sabah and Sulu, one country, two systems, two immigration systems, and one common market.
The sovereignty of Sabah rests with its people and not the defunct Sulu Sultanate which has long been consigned to the dustbin of history.
True, the Sulu Sultans used to extort tolls at one time from the terrified traffic along the waterways in eastern Sabah. It's best for the Suluks not to make a song and dance act of this and misrepresent this criminal act of a pirate as representing private property rights or as having sovereignty.
By Adat and history, the entire land area of Sabah and Sarawak is NCR (Native Customary Right) and belong to the Orang Asal. Again, the descendents of the heirs to the defunct Sulu Sultanate cannot claim private property rights to Sabah or parts of it.
Nur Misuari, Sulu, Malaya have no business in Sabah, Sarawak
Nevertheless, Malaysia should agree to go to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and settle these matters.
If Sabahans are going to end up as Filipinos, so be it. At least the Filipinos don't endlessly indulge in hysterical talk, as if they are in a trance, about ketuanan Tagalog.
Maybe Jeffrey Kitingan will finally have a chance to get somewhere in his politics as President but of the Philippines.
He may appoint me as the Philippines Ambassador to the UN, the Vatican or Malaysia, not that I am pushing for it. I might even go to Washington which I am told is only as big as Kajang. I have always wanted to visit Washington, New York and the original 13 colonies in the United States. Something happened here to push the US towards greatness.
However, the ICJ is certain to rule that Misuari, Sulu and Malaya have no business to be in Sabah and Sarawak.
Malaysia a plot against Sabah, Sarawak by British sodomists
So, that's why Putrajaya will never agree to go to the ICJ in a million years. They would rather commit hara kiri en masse since so great would be their so-called shame in the eyes of the world. They would stand unmasked for the entire world to see for what they really are and what they are more than capable of doing for narrow, selfish self-serving ends.
Strangely, none of the ketuanan Melayuists in Putrajaya, including Mahathir Mohamad the advocate of the hara kiri culture among Malays, killed themselves when the ICJ ruled that Pulau Batu Putih or Pedra Branca belonged to Singapore by virtue of Malaysia's inaction on the island to maintain sovereignty.
Had the ICJ noted that Singapore was unconstitutionally, unlawfully illegally expelled from Malaysia in 1965, Pulau Batu Putih would still be Malaysian territory. The then Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman had the doors of Parliament locked until the MPs agreed to vote to expel Singapore.
There was No Referendum on Malaysia in Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Malaya.
The ketuanan Melayuists in Malaya, like Sulu and Nur Misuari a la the Brunei sultanate, think that Sabah and Sarawak are their grandfather's ancestral property bequeathed to them by the British sodomists, who were only too fond of the Malay boys they kept, as a parting gift to run their own little colonial empire.
The question of a Referendum on Malaysia in Sabah and Sarawak, 50 years too late, does not arise. Sabah and Sarawak should regain their independence of 31 Aug, 1963 and 22 July, 1963 respectively. In fact, in the case of Sarawak, their independence was restored when the Japanese occupation forces in the country surrendered towards the end of World War II. The British coerced the Rajah of Sarawak to hand over his country to them for their nefarious plan to set up Malaysia.
Mahathir should only have the Right of Reply
The ICJ is certain to rule that the Manila Government has no business to be in the southern Philippines. The internal colonisation issue alone, as in South Sudan, will kill them at The Hague. Nur Misuari should focus on this issue at the UN Security Council. Why lay waste to the homeland through endless armed conflict when the truth is with the people of the southern Philippines?
The Suluks complained well before Lahad Datu about them and the Bajau being marginalised and disenfranchised by the increasing influx of illegal immigrants, especially from Sulawesi. Ironically, the leaders of the Suluk and Bajau communities were the only ones in Sabah to support the formation of Malaysia.
Also, the Suluks in particular complain about them and the Bajau not having any political party to represent them and instead were being submerged under the so-called Muslim Bumiputera label in the electoral rolls and being politically choked to death.
There is also the issue of the Pala'u (sea gypsies or Bajau Laut) being stateless.
The protem United Sabah National Organisation (Usno) of the Sabah Suluks and the State Reform Party (Star), its ally, can be expected to speak up on these major issues in the wake of Lahad Datu and in view of the forthcoming 13th General Election.
Usno does not appear to have its own website to highlight issues.
It posts its material in FaceBook. There might be some websites they can identify to help get a hearing and spread the message. But there are very few who will publish something even if they disagree with it.
Everyone, except Mahathir, has a right to be heard and the right of reply whether we agree or not. Mahathir, as a former PM, should only be seen and not heard but subject to the right of reply.
Not easy for Suluks to get space in the media
The Opposition in Sabah and Sarawak should not get bogged down by the rhetoric and polemics of the politics of disruption and distraction.
Often, this is nothing more than cheap entertainment when not being used as a ploy by cheap publicity seekers or by the media looking at their bottomlines and to collect angpows.
However, it won’t be that easy for the Suluks in Sabah to get space in the media.
The media, both mainstream and the great majority of the alternative media, is public enemy number one in Malaysia.
One alternative media owner confided in frustration that the great majority of his people are on the take. He intends to sack the entire lot after the 13th General Election. He can't believe that they are capable of running all the "nonsense" that they are uploading on Sabah and Sarawak in particular.
Many will agree with him on this observation.
Mahathir more confident than PR in handling criticism
The corruption of the media in Malaysia is complete. One needs to beware of the media! Forewarned is forearmed.
It’s an uphill battle for any 3rd Force in Malaysia to get a hearing in the Court of Public Opinion.
Both Mahathir and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) are funding the alternative media and various blogs. This amounts to hundreds of millions in ringgit.
Mahathir runs a blog to cover up the fact that he's funding the alternative media and various blogs.
In the case of Mahathir, he just wants his views to be carried and he wants to exercise his Right of Reply. He doesn't mind if others are extended the same privilege because that's one way that he can keep himself in the news and alive. Besides, unlike PR he's confident that he can fend off any criticism against him.
In the case of Pakatan Rakyat, their funding comes with a condition: "Don't carry anything that makes PR look bad. Don’t promote a Sabah/Sarawak-based 3rd Force in Malaysian politics." The 3rd Force is routinely criminalised, demonised, dehumanised, neutralised, isolated, and marginalised with a view to exhausting it and therefore that much easier to eliminate and exterminate.
Free media like looking for needle in haystack
However, when it comes to Mahathir, there's nothing that PR can do. He can afford to dole out more money -- a tiny fraction of his reported US$ 44 billion in ill-gotten gains can go a long way -- to the alternative media and blogs than PR. So PR has no choice but live with Mahathir in the alternative media and blogs.
As a fallback option, they rely on lawsuits to bankrupt their critics and shut them up. They have tried suing Mahathir too but gave up after he said he's willing to be bankrupted but he won't shut up.
Taib Mahmud of Sarawak relies more on the mainstream media and so the alternative media and bloggers are after his blood simply because he's being tight-fisted with his money when it comes to them. They care two hoots whether he's corrupt or clean.
The people can only hope for a media that does not shut out anyone and gives a hearing to all.
That's like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Joe Fernandez is a graduate mature student of law and an educationist, among others, who loves to write especially Submissions for Clients wishing to Act in Person. He feels compelled, as a semi-retired journalist, to put pen to paper -- or rather the fingers to the computer keyboard -- whenever something doesn't quite jell with his weltanschauung (worldview). He shuttles between points in the Golden Heart of Borneo formed by the Sabah west coast, Labuan, Brunei, northern Sarawak and the watershed region in Borneo where three nations meet.