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Manila to blame, says PBS
Published on: Monday, December 15, 2014
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KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) on Sunday said the Philippine government is to blame for the misery of its nationals in Sabah.

Its Secretary-General Datuk Johnny Mositun said the policies and attitude of the people in power in Manila contributed directly to the misery of Filipino nationals, both legal and illegal immigrants, in Sabah.

"For the better part of four decades, the Filipinos in Sabah – refugees, migrant workers and illegal immigrants – have all been denied any substantial services or assistance from the Philippine government.

"They survive only because the Malaysian Government adheres strictly to international norms and standards of law and human rights," he said in response to the remarks by Philippines Ambassador to Malaysia, J. Eduardo Malaya, that children of Filipino migrants in Malaysia deserved formal education.

Mositun said while it was not wrong for the Philippines Ambassador to say that these children deserved education, he could not accept the apathy and indifference shown by Manila towards its own nationals in Sabah.

"The number of Filipinos in Sabah, legal or illegal, is huge. Tens of thousands are children, but what has Manila done, or is doing, to see to their education?" he asked.

Mositun said it was sheer hypocrisy to talk about providing basic education for 2,234 children of Filipino immigrants in Sabah considering the fact that Filipinos in Sabah numbered in the hundreds of thousands.

"Malaya's comments only underscore his government's real attitude and lack of concern for Philippine nationals in Sabah.

The fact that since 2012, by his own admission, his consular officials have processed only 2,600 passport applications, 1,500 travel documents, 3,100 consular certifications and 120 Reports of Birth proves beyond doubt Manila's apathy and indifference towards Filipinos in Sabah," Mositun said.

Mositun said it was Manila's refusal to establish a Consular Office in Sabah that was making life difficult for the hundreds of thousands of Filipinos in the State and Malaysia had to bear the cost.

"It is a staggering thought that nearly half of the patients using our hospitals are foreigners, mostly Filipinos. Is Sabah to play Santa Claus forever to these people whose own government does nothing for them?

"And Sabahans themselves are still not able to enjoy a standard and quality of life like their peninsula counterparts," Mositun said.

He said it was time Manila took on a bigger share of the responsibility of looking after the welfare and needs of Philippine citizens in Sabah instead of burdening Malaysia.

"They remit millions of ringgit back to the Philippines and contribute so much to the economy of their own country, so it is only right that Manila assumes the responsibility for their welfare in a meaningful way.

"We provide them with jobs, they avail themselves of all our civic amenities, and now it is implied that we should educate their children, too. What next?" Mositun said.


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