Lamentable plight of the Illegal

Here is the common opinion that confined in the Tausug psyche regarding the lamentable fate they have for decades since they were become citizens of their forefather’s enemy.

Being a Tausug who personally facing the reality behind the saddest plights of the Tausug living in the Philippines and Malaysia, I felt like to share this dot of opinion; who knows this could be of help to locate brilliant ideas out there. The feeling that I have is also presence in every hearts of the Tausug particularly them who were sacrificing to work in abroad enable to bring a short-range of happiness to their ill-fated families back home.

I once asked a Tausug in Sabah if what motivated him to migrate to Malaysia despite of the promise suffering he can possibly experience if by chance he got caught by the Malaysian authority for having no legal document. “He said, in Malaysia we can only experience jail and if fail to produce any legal papers will be whipped on the buttock with rattan; in the Philippines much worst. As people have a dignity we cannot keep on tolerating the behaviour of our corrupt leaders particularly in Sulu to fool us and demeaning our value as a Tausug who devotedly practicing Islam. If we still have a choice left, to go somewhere just to evade this human catastrophe could be considered as good decision by now. If not, our fate will be the same as them who fought for quite a long time with the Philippine government. I do not like to involve myself with this otiose war. What we need is money not bullet. That’s why I rather work in the construction site in Malaysia, even every salary we were paying certain amounts to some irresponsible policemen as an exchange for our temporary liberty. I knew this practice is wrong but what options do we have if we want to survive in this country, he asked me?”

The short conversation we had with Mr. Arabani [not real name]was leaving me mutely for a while. I went home with heart full of gloominess. But I just let it skipped afterwards I know he was right unfortunately the Tausug were having no body to go to seek for help, except Allah. Most of their leaders in Sulu who were elected by the people under the Philippine government show no interest to save them from the malady they were facing. In contrary, their leaders were spent more money and time to buy beautiful bungalow outside Sulu and latest car or wheels which they can use to brag to their fellow leaders. These are just some of the attitudes of the Illegal Immigrants leaders’ in Sulu and in the Philippines. Suppose the Filipino leaders in Sulu could do something on their side to answer the expatriation problem in Malaysia. They can do it should settling the problem is the prime goal.

Evidently, the flock of undocumented Filipino presence in Sabah is the result of war done by the Philippines in Sulu. Now, even the Philippines had strategize economic assistant through the help of foreign donors like the USAID to the Tausug it can still be considered as futile, because the people of Sulu wanted to be free and exercise their own sovereignty. The political representatives of the Malacanang in Sulu could not satiate the people because the representatives themselves were the number one problem of the people. Now to whom the Tausug would run if all their leaders elected were not problem solver?

I believed there had been serious action being done bilaterally between Malaysia and the Philippines to solve illegal issues. But did it bore positive effect? Until what extend do the designed solution took effect?

Recently, the Illegal issue is buzzing in Malaysia. Some groups of Malaysian were even politicking this issue. All they wanted that their land is free of illegal. Everybody wants to live legally but to become a legal person living in this world is costly. Paper is very expensive and it had trammelled undocumented individuals to travel on earth surface – it’s a law. If only Allah send us to this world to do this valueless thing, where in the universe we can seek for freedom?

Anyway, illegal issue in Sabah need a serious yet sincere solution. On the Philippines side, fulfil your obligation as a “Protectorate” to the Tausug. While the Tausug still on the process of looking the best answer to their decades problems, on my opinion, try to put tight security in Taganak Island, Bongao, Jolo and other wharfs where the lansa heading to Sabah is departing and give a cheapest visa or working pass to the migrants entering Sabah. In Taganak alone there should have immigration officers assign to issue short visit visa or working pass cheaply. This could be done through collective collaboration.

On Malaysia side, since this country have enough concern to the plight of the oppress people like Palestine, why not do the same for the people of Sulu and other neighbouring countries who come to Malaysia mostly to help boom the country’s economy. Illegal issue, I think, should not be more politicize but try to work for the problem wisely and humanely. Malaysia is one of the successful nations recently; hopefully the government could find other solution rather than jailing and whipping the illegal. I hope, both governments will double their efforts to find the best panacea to the illegal immigrant issue affecting the people in Southeast Asia, Philippines, Malaysia and Sulu in particular.