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Monday, May 16, 2011

Kids of undocumented Filipinos in Sabah are neither Filipinos nor Malaysians

Up to one million undocumented Filipinos live near Sabah, Malaysia's poorest state.
Two Britons have been held in the Philippines for allegedly running a scam offering Filipinos non-existent jobs abroad
The attached YouTube video by Al Jazeera shows a glimpse of the hundreds of thousands of undocumented Filipinos who has lived for several years close to the Malaysian territory seeking better opportunities.

Many Filipino parents have raised their families in communities near Sabah—once a disputed land between the two nations—and as a result their children have considered themselves as Malaysian. These children do not know a single Filipino word nor have they been to the Philippines, according to a speech by Ariel Hernandez, Anak Mindanao Party List representative.
These children are neither Filipinos nor Malaysians because they do not have the papers, which make them loose the opportunity for education, shelter and government support.
A street child by the name of Anak—a shared Filipino-Malaysian word for child—is one of the many offsprings from illegal Filipino migrants in Malaysia.
Anak said, "I was born here, so I guess I am Malaysian."
Some children are forced to commit crime to earn a living. As shown in the video, they are inhaling something, which I think is what is locally known as "solvent"—inhalants made of adhesives, fabric protectors, household cleaners or paint thinner—that may lead to addiction. Solvents are also sometimes used to replace their feeling of hunger.
Another non-citizen, Hassan Ibrahim, said, "We have no documents. It's easy to blame things on us. They see us as trash, like animals. They don't want us here."
The thousands of Filipino illegal immigrants provide cheap labor force to Sabah.
About 500 of undocumented Filipinos are deported back to Zamboanga province every week, which also cause problems in southern Philippines.
Details of this report here.

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