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Illegal Filipino Migrant Street Children in Sabah, Malaysia

In Malaysia illegal Filipino migrants are not supposed to have children but of course they do anyway according to Al Jazeera's David Hawkins. So what happens when illegal Filipino migrant pro-creates? A societal, political, and moral dilemma ensues thus Illegal Filipino Migrant Street Children in Sabah, Malaysia are added in the mix of the under belly of a surreal yet mind boggling realities of harsh life for the unwanted. These are mostly Christian Filipinos who are probably unaware or ignorant that there are birth control pills or other device to avoid unwanted pregnancy. It is not certain or do we want to go there if the strong influence of Talibani pro-choice Catholic Bishops and their fanatic lay leaders and supporters whose mission in life is to encourage their flock to fulfill their biblical obligation of go and pro-create has somehow had any influence in this miserable life they have condemned these innocent migrant Filipino children.

Ok, there are the natural methods such as abstention that the pro-lifers and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo the Philippine president with questionable Garcified tenure champions, but knowing they are not in a position and the consequence of bringing in a child in a not so foreign land (Sabah is owned by the Sultanate of Sulu thus the Philippines has a claim to this territory) where being born to an illegal makes the offspring also illegal. These are contentious issues that sadly may stay with us for a long time and until leaders of these 2 nations and society come up with a resolution, Filipino migrant children are exposed to the most dehumanizing existence early on in life with no bright prospect for their future.

While most of the migrant children are legal there are those unlucky ones that were born to illegal Filipino migrant workers. Those who did not have a say on where they should be born much less have a choice on who brings them out to this "wonderful" world find themselves with no access or right to health and education. The “lucky” ones (if you consider being able to afford the school yet stateless as lucky) are sent to private schools by illegal migrant parents who can afford it but most are not so lucky as if their complicated situation of having no legal identity or documentation is not enough are out living on the street trying to survive in a place where they are not welcome and seen as a strain to the territories resources.

This is what Yong Tek Lee, former Minister of Sabah has to say about the migrant street children:

Most of them would have come from broken families, uh…. single mother or just orphan. This is a bigger group and more difficult to integrate and politically a very sensitive subject….. for Malaysians to spend their resources on this group of immigrant children.
In fairness to Yong Tek Lee the quote maybe out of context or too short to really know how he sees the problem. True, some may have been from broken families but the question is how many of those are from broken families and those that have been separated due to their parents getting caught and deported back to the Philippines? Since they have been orphaned and with no help coming from the Malaysian government where half of the populations in Sabah are immigrants they are of course not in a position to give assistance to the “illegal” migrant children who end up in the streets of Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah. Indeed a strain to Sabahs resources and since they are stateless children with no legal personality to begin with no assistance is forthcoming on children that does not officially or legally exist. What is puzzling is when Yong Tok Lee talks about integration.... really integration? The reason why the children are homeless and living on the street is not by accident is it not? Who are we kidding here or is this another one of those political double talk? How can Lee talk of integration when the children are denied citizenship from the place they are born (Sabah) and due to their "illegal status" are denied access to education, health care and other assistance that are available to citizens of Sabah. No, Yong Tok Lee quit blabbering nonsense about integration when you know very well that denying these children citizenship is all about treating them like sub humans.

It makes matter even worse than hell when the Philippine government do not recognize these children as Filipino citizens either and are not willing to take them back. Yet, the Philippines put up a façade of welcome and making sure they protect the rights of embezzlers, crooks in politicians clothing, jueteng lords and all kinds of Mafiosi type criminal syndicates lording over the political outcome of fraudulent elections and other dregs of society that managed to scheme their way to the corridors of the high and mighty while we deny that these stateless migrant street children even exist.

These children end up in the streets and form a gang for survival while some young girls turn to prostitution preyed upon by sick bastard pedophiles. It does not help when the mindset of those who are supposed to look after their welfare have so much disdain for these disposable street children as seen in this remark by Anne Keyworth a social worker:

Some of them the orphans who ….uh abandoned… because their parents have gone back to the Philippines…. So they have a big brother…. Yeah, so they have to earn a certain amount for the big brother… but then their welfare are not taken care of….
I don’t know about the expression of this social worker but I fail to see a hint of compassion but then again maybe it is just how she projects herself on television. Somehow it gives you a feeling that her mindset was that of one who don't see the need to assist these street children because under Malaysian law they don't exist. The big brother of course are their pimps who preys on these vulnerable little girls all alone abandoned to fend for themselves in what society has relegated them into a life of wretched misery. A life if you can call that life in this day and age where she has no capacity to comprehend in a society that denies them education or even acknowledge that they exist. Imagine if these were your kids, your niece, cousin, son, daughter, brother, sister or grand kids you probably will move heaven and earth to rescue them from that miserable inhumane existence....... but we don't know them, not until you become aware of them. Should we just treat their sad miserable wretched inhumane existences as out of sight out of mind, toss it away and it's gone? Are the OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) who are considered the modern day heroes and savior of the Philippine mismanaged economy are just good as milking cow for the dollar they bring in and yet we deny their offspring exist, not Filipino worthy enough to be a Citizen of the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's strong Republic?

Watch this video of Malaysia's migrant children - 25 Aug 07 below or proceed to Greg Constantine haunting picture stories of stateless Filipino migrant children.

Al Jazeera's David Hawkins meets the children of illegal immigrants from the Philippines living on the streets of Sabah.

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