Ban on Pump Boats, The Demolition of Water Villages, Threats to the Sama Way of Life

Video of pump boats and water villages from Semporna, Malaysia

Ma’ase’ kam…its the Sinama for “Have pity.”  The Sama, known in Malaysia as the Bajau, see their lifestyle and culture threatened in all of their traditional territories.  Threats to peace and order in Malaysia as well as the government’s response to such threats are also a threat to the Bajau way of life.  Malaysia has a reputation for being the land of opportunity for the Bajau.  Sama culture has slowly been shifting towards Malaysia over the past few decades.  Due to recent kidnappings in the region as well as other border crime, politicians are calling for changes that would entirely disrupt the Bajau way of life.  Lahad Datu assemblyman, Datuk Mohammad Yusof Apdal is calling for a ban on the usage of all pump boats in Malaysia.  Former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr. Mahathir Mohamed is calling for the demolition of the country’s water villages.

What is a Bajau man without his boat? What is the Bajau tribe with no water villages?  Ethnocide is defined as the deliberate and systematic destruction of the culture of an ethnic group.  To take away the Bajau boats and the Bajau water villages would be death to their culture.  We all want  to see these crimes stopped, but please in the process have pity on the Bajau people.  Ma’ase’ kam!  This message is for the criminals.  This message is for the politicians.  Ma’ase’ kam.  Do not commit ethnocide.  Ma’ase’ kam!

One Response

  1. Datu' Bajao
    Datu' Bajao July 19, 2014 at 12:34 pm |

    To demolish the Bajau laut houses and illegallized their source of survival is not a solution to the problem at hand. The Govt. should fine another solution to stop crime, certainly not at the expense of the innocent Bajao Laut. should Malaysian Arm Forces afraid to encounter the intruders, or simply they are not serious in protecting the Sabah east coast because they are from Malaya and this is not their place of birth, the Govt. may consider to arm the local Sabahan to protect their own place. The local Bajao Semporna are not afraid to do this. it has been proven during the so called royal Sulu Army war in Sabah recently. The Bajao Semporna fight the armed Sulu Army w/ empty hand.

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