KDM & EDUCATION, and the POVERTY BONDAGE


“My niece had always wanted to become a teacher.  She applied for a teaching course (through the internet) to the Education Department but sadly she was rejected.  She heard about a teacher (course) interview in Kemabong (especially for those applicants with no access to the internet), so I took her there.  There were 800 applicants present and it took the whole day for the interviews to conclude.  Again, my niece was rejected for the position although appeals can be made to the Education Department office in Kota Kinabalu.  I made the appeal on behalf of my niece.  There were already 300 appeals coming all the way from Tawau and Semporna but we have to wait another week before any answers can be given.  I heard a similar story from a friend in Nabawan with 1,200 applicants. ”  lamented a very good friend to me recently.

So why is this happening?  Why do Sabahans have to beg to be teachers in their own home?  Are we not good enough?  Kami ini second class citizen kah?  Why do we depend so much on Malaya to send teachers here to teach our own children?  Why?  Is there a hidden agenda that we Sabahans missed?

The simplest answer I can say for now from my simple mind is that our leaders have gone AWOL !  Yes!  They have gone missing.  They took absent without leave right under our noses. It seems that education is not an important issue for these politicians.  But let’s be kind for a moment.  Their mouth do seemed to be making some movement but I don’t hear them speak.  Do you?  And when we do hear sound waves hitting on to our inner ears, the sound has no timbre, no desire when it comes to our Education Rights.  There doesn’t seem to be a real zest coming out from them.  To be honest I feel they are just going through the motion with lots of hand movement put into it.

Anyway, not all is lost if only the Sabahans can band together for the sake of Sabah.  There may still be time but time is slowly running out.  I am not a doomsday sayer but I can foresee that Sabahans will rot in perpetual bondage of poverty and which; none of them can break away from this curse without proper education.

So now let me focus on some our KDM political leaders that have gone AWOL.

Datuk Marsidi Manjun is a Muslim KDM from Ranau RESPONSIBLE (with a capital “R”) for education in Sabah.  Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan the Huguan Siou, President of PBS, ADUN as well as Member of Parliament and, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, a KDM leader from Penampang, the President of UPKO and a Federal Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities.  Now these gentlemen all claim to be the KDM leaders.

The people voted them into position of power and influence and yet the plight of more than 2,000 youths, the majority of whom are from the KDM community, and who so wished to become teachers did not even get their serious attention.  Instead of fighting tooth and nail for these aspiring teachers they just “cakap-cakap” only lah.  They got themselves onto the front-page news and with that, more hot air came out from their mouth.

If they are truly serious about these Sabahans then they should put their job in line instead of just blowing hot air.  Let us see you fight for us.

On the same note, imagine if it is a project to build schools or a KDM college.  I am very sure all these leaders will be spending thousands of ringgit and will be camping day and night right on the door steps of Putrajaya just to get the projects (perhaps for their pecuniary gain).  You know, building a school is equally
important but what is the use of a school without teachers especially teachers from the locality?  And when there are shortages of teachers the Federal Ministry will be sending those from Malaya to teach our children and with that they bring their culture to Sabah whether we like it or not.

We are not racist or xenophobic.  Trust me.  We just like to maintain the equilibrium, the status quo amongst all Sabahans. We do not mind integration but assimilation is another story.  So when Sabahans gets bypass, people become upset and frustrated.  With that anger sets in.   And all these leaders can do is to say, “That is all I can do…”  How many times do we have to listen to this statement?

These KDM leaders forget the 2,000 youths are also voters.  They may have other family members whom are eligible to vote as well.  Whatever it is, I hope and I pray the 2,000 at the very least will ensure future generations of KDMs will be at the forefront of change for the community and the state.  Perhaps some may even be lucky and break the bondage of ignorance and that of poverty in this generation.

In my simple conclusion I ask, if these leaders can be “thick face” to chase after projects, is it too much to ask for these leaders to do the same and start banging doors for the real issues at the Federal Level for us Sabahans?  Education is something which you cannot compromise because without proper education the people can only shout Arrimitti!!  Sadly, even that is not our culture!

In addition and to go off tangent a bit, the people can be hoodwinked in to accepting the Agropolitan development concept or creating of a communal title from forest reserves without really understanding the long term implication of these policies (more will be forthcoming about these issues – please stay tuned).

Back to my conclusion – the issue I am contending here is that whether, Datuk Marsidi Manjun, Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, are really our leaders or just opportunists that has betrayed our trust to lead Sabahans to a better life.

Sabah Sifu

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About sifusiber
A husband & a father who wants his children to have a better future

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