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CigMa leaders on European tours to drum up support for freer and progressive Borneo

By Ezra Haganez
THE HAGUE: Two top leaders of the Common Interest Group Malaysia (CigMa) are on tours in European capitals to drum up international support for a more vigorous and focused effort to bring more progress and social justice to natives on Borneo Island especially those from Sabah and Sarawak.

CigMa President, Daniel  John Jambun, and Secretary-General, Kanul Gindol, were in The Hague, Holland, and Brussels, Belgium this week talking to members of Holland Parliament and Belgium Senate who showed great enthusiasm on the Borneo story.     

In The Hague , both Jambun and Gindol, briefed the Foreign Relations Committee of Holland Parliament on the need for more international understanding of the peculiarities of persistent hindrances to bring progress and justice to natives of Borneo.

Among those from the Foreign Relations Committee were parliamentarians Kathleen G. Ferrier who is from the Christian Democratic Party, and Raymond de Roon of the Party for Freedom, who expressly thanked the Borneo delegation for their eye-opening presentations.

Ferrier said: “Today we learned a lot from you about your people’s plights in your place and we would want to know what your people would want us to do to help...”

The parliamentarians also told the meeting that they would bring the Borneo matters to attention of their colleagues.

Jambun in his presentation titled “The Disenfranchisement of bona fide Sabahans”, outlined the perennial problems plaguing Sabahans especially the presence of millions of illegal immigrants from southern Philippines and Indonesians in Sabah.

Jambun said the Federal Government is not taking effort to address the issue and that it had made many, especially among the natives,  to believe that it was indeed a ploy to re-engineer the demographic of the Sabah which was previously predominantly a Christian state.

“This illegal immigrants issue in Sabah was famous for its link to a former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is stand accused of giving Malaysian identification cards to these muslim immigrants.

“We the natives are being outnumbered by the immigrants who are taking a lot of opportunities from us with the full knowledge of the Federal Government. We are being disenfranchised as bona fide Sabahans,” Jambun said.

Gindol, meanwhile briefed the Committee on the history and demographic of Borneo, as well as changes being executed there by both Jakarata and Kuala Lumpur, that have sometimes put the natives of the world’s third largest island into very difficult situation.

“Borneo Island is the most divided island in the world. It is ruled by three countries – Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia – and it has seven states or provinces that are the Kingdom of Brunei herself, Malaysia’s states of Sabah and Sarawak and the four huge Kalimantan provinces which come under Indonesian rule.
“There are currently 18 to 19 million people living on Borneo Island, but the sad story is that there could easily be more than 10 million people living in poverty in Borneo, whereas all seven states or provinces are each very very rich in natural resources like timber, gas, oil and fertile lands. Something is very wrong and must be corrected,” he said.
Gindol also claimed that the natives in Borneo which are predominantly of the Dayak and Banjarese groups as well as many as 30 tribes  are crying for attention and help and that both the Federal governments in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur so far had not been able to fulfill their needs.
“We are here in our effort to help call for more international understanding on the peculiarities of our problems in Borneo because we believe the world could help us become a better place to live and work…, ” Gindol told the meeting, adding that all goodness are all what is hoped for in those neglected corner of the world.
Also in the meeting was HINDRAF Chairman, Waythamoorthy, who briefed the Foreign Relations Committee on the plights of minority Indians in Malaysia.

1 comment:

  1. It is heartening to note u have leaders who walk all the way to EU to tell yr side of the story.. Keep doing it and your people's plight wil certainly be attended to bros...


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