Malaya Ignorance, “Project M” may backfire part 2

A study into the plights of Transient Population in Sabah

In addition there are arguments that there is increasing number of Transient Population (TP) in our City and major Towns and this influx of people must be contained.  Otherwise the present urban services and facilities cannot cope with the demand.  Perhaps these TPs are new arrivals or those misplaced due to cost cuttings in the plantation sector and the timber industries.

The culprit here is the irresponsible plantation owners and timber operators not the TPs.  The TPs is simply people dictated by circumstances; they migrate from their original countries due to economic reasons, Sabah offers opportunities for them to change their way of life.  Whether the employers are irresponsible, the issue of TPs is now squarely in the hands of both the State and Federal government.

After all what are all the levies, cess and fomema payments for? The employer has paid the government these taxes, since these workers are victim of cost cutting exercise due to the possible increase of levies; they are no more the responsibilities of their employers.

Once cut loose, the attraction of urban lights proves to be stronger.  As the result, the majority of them moves to the urban areas and occupy the squatter areas.

The presence of squatter areas in the urban areas is not the fault of these TPs or rural-urban migrations.  It has been determined by the United Nation Development Programs as the fault of the government.  The government has failed in the development programs.

The Constraints of the Repatriation Exercise

The Police, the Army, Immigration and the Municipalities are spearheading these massive and expensive undertaking.  But then again as part of the government machinery they are also facing similar problems as any other, there is simply not enough funds from the government to go around.

There is no doubt the economy is recovering albeit very slowly but it does not mean funds will be flowing to address the transient population issues in Sabah.  At the National level there are other more pressing priorities.

Prisoners escaping from lock-ups and fugitives’ jumping off from custody, riots in immigrant’s deportation compound is common National News.  Is this perhaps due to carelessness of the authorities or this happened because there are limited resources?

There may be some truths about Police oversights; they are after all human beings.  Perhaps suspension of some Police Officers may be simply victim of circumstances.  Someone must be publicly suspended to satisfy public opinion whilst the real issues remain unresolved.

Whose fault is it when there are no cages with locks in their Lorries, or when there are not enough handcuffs to go around, or the depilated conditions of the Police lock-ups with soggy ceilings and doors just about ready to abandon their hinges?.  As we are all aware, the job of the Police force is to maintain law and order in this country and they stake their lives to do this.  They are not handymen or repairmen.

Appreciating the conditions and situations at the National level any sane person will question the aim and method used to dislocate and repatriate the transient population in Sabah.

The main question is whether the situation in Peninsular Malaysia is similar to Sabah that similar technique can be applied.  The situation of immigrants in Malaya is purely economics, they are there seeking employment.  In Sabah the situation is different it is socio, politico and economics reasons rolled into one.

Sabah is sparsely populated there is just insufficient population mass to justify proper and orderly economic development.  The local leaders and politician is not helping matters.  They are encouraging people to live on their own high up in the hills.  We often see a village is made up of only 5 houses.  It is just impossible for the government to bring roads, water and electricity to these people.  It is just not cost-effective.  In addition, they may not be able to get proper medical facilities because of the distance.

Without their presence of the TPs in certain economic clusters, a level of economic baseline cannot be reached to justify economic investments.  The presence of the TPs is therefore required to fill the gaps created by people who prefer to live alone in the hills.

The Southern part of the Philippines and the North Eastern Islands of Indonesia which forms part of the BIMP-EAGA must be looked at as low economic development areas whilst Malaysia and Brunei forms the urbanized portion.

Looking at it from this perspective, rural-urban migration is bound to happen.  This phenomenon is unavoidable.  In Peninsular Malaysia the rural urban migration was partly resolved through the development of Industries in the Free Trade Zones (FTZ) and the inflow of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) into Malaysia.

On paper the government may be losing over RM14 billion annually through “Invisibles”.  The government is willing to “lose” this amount so long as the people enjoy employment.

In any large family there are bound to have a few black sheep.  Often their action against the law this is due to peer pressure and not premeditated.  Granted there may be a few slashing and stabbing incidents in the streets but these are among themselves, it is often to settle family disputes.

The incidents involving officers from the Local Authorities are isolated episode which can be traced back to the inhumane treatment they received from these officers themselves.  Most of minor or major crime in the State involves mostly the locals in one way or another and not the Transient Population.

Overall these petty incidents have no significant risk to local security and far from National Security issues.

This is not doom saying whatever efforts the authorities are making is bound to fail, but considering what is happening in the southern Philippines we are effectively putting them between the hammer and the anvil.  There is no way else for the TPs to go.

Any living things will fight back when they are cornered or having to protect their young.  The TPs are after all humans, they are bound by instinct to react the same way.

The discussion will continue to Malaya Ignorance, Project M may backfire part 3


About gurkahsiber
I like to read, I like to think and I like to write

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