Photo credit: | Poverty exists everywhere

As Merdeka day approaches, Clement Ting makes a plea to remember those who have been forgotten.

Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”
~ Mother Teresa

Photo credit: ADB on | A student in Thai Hong Primary School in Johor Bahru

Hi, my name is Fong, and I come from Malaysia. I was raised and loved here, and was taught that this is my country, my home, my shelter, my first love.

I am a Chinese, but I am not from China. My friend, Muthu, is an Indian, but he’s not from India. My another friend, Mat, is a Malay, but he’s not an Orang Asli. We consist of the three main races, and we call ourselves Malaysians.

But what about my friend Apai? And my friend Raden? Entulu? Masahor? Gapur? Moggie?

Who are they?

Where are they from?

Have you heard of their names before?

Were they ever in your school books?

Are they foreigners?

“People will forget what you said,

people will forget what you did,

but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

~ Maya Angelou


Let’s go to Johor! We can have some otak-otak in Muar. Oh oh! Mee Bandung too! Maybe some nasi briyani gam from Batu Pahat as well.

No no! Let’s go to Malacca for sate celup! Chicken rice ball is also a must eat! Maybe some ikan bakar and some kuih nyonya too while we are there.

I thought people normally go to Penang for food? There’s Penang char kuey teow, asam laksa, beef kuey teow soup, lor bak, chee cheong fun, durian and so much more. Cannot eat finish wan…

Aiyoh…Just stay in KL lah. What also got. All the Johorians, Malaccans and even Penangites come to KL to find work, can definitely find their food here.




“Only the forgotten, are truly dead.”

~ Tess Gerritsen, The Sinner.


What is kompia? Sup ponas? Tomato kuey tiao? Kueh chap? Ngiu chap? Soto? Have you seen it on your restaurant menu? Are these Johor food? Or is it Malaccan? I am sure I have never seen it in Penang before…Can I find it here in KL?


A man thinks that by mouthing hard words he understands hard things.
~ Herman Melville


Defend Putrajaya “even if our bodies are crushed and our lives lost”!


“I would endeavour to deserve my life, Sire.”

~ Thomas Blood

Photo credit: | Deforestation of peat swamp in Sarawak

They have taken away our trees. Our land. Our culture. We are robbed of our own food, and clean fresh water. They dirty our rivers for the pockets of the few. Our daughters are raped by millers and workers everyday on their way to school. Our sons are forced to work from dawn till dusk because immigrants are cheaper and plentiful.

We have lost our natural habitat. And yet, we still uphold our principles to the highest honour. Let alone an injured animal that passes by our village, or any friend or enemy for that matter, we will treat him like he is our brother.

We are a proud race. Our ancestors were here long before the whites set foot on this land. This is our land. Yet, we have not demanded for your absence. We are peace loving people. Do not force us anymore.


“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi


Hey, have you heard of the Port Klang Free Zone? I heard it was a massive RM12.5billion scandal! The culprits have yet to be caught unfortunately. What is going on with the cops these days?

That’s nothing. Heard of the Scorpene deal? I heard that our Prime Minister is linked to this case when he was still the Defence Minister. There is no substantial evidence to prove this yet, so I could be very wrong but then again, what is there to believe in today’s Malaysia?


“I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.”
~ Eugene Victor Debs


In recent years, reports have shown that Taib Mahmud, the longest serving and current Chief Minister of Sarawak is currently one of the richest men in Asia whose fortune is estimated to be about RM4.6billion. The Bruno Manser Fund, BMF, has acknowledged that this research only covers publicly available information from Malaysia’s Register of Companies and other official company registers, meaning that the reported figure is most likely only a fraction of his actual wealth.

Yet, the voices of his people are never heard and are kept in poverty. The people are denied electricity while his family and politically-linked partners live lavishly. People either sacrifice their freedom or risk prosecution, swallowing their pride, or risk seeing bloodshed.

Photo credit: | Poverty exists everywhere


“What greater grief than the loss of one’s native land.”

– Euripides


Let’s not forget Sabah, Land Below the Wind. Home to Malaysia’s tallest mountain known to keen hikers and nature lovers around the world.

In 1970, Malaysia had a population of about 10.5 million people while Sabah had about 600,000 people. In just 40 years, Malaysia has increased its population by 165% to about 27 million whilst Sabah’s population increased 390% to 2.5 million.

Our government have denied this many times over but the truth is that local Sabahans themselves have begun to believe that it is possible that immigrants have outnumbered them, in their own land.

Jobs are scarce, and people are kept hidden in poverty, so that they too can not be heard. So that they too will not be helped.


“It is too difficult to think nobly when one thinks only of earning a living.”
~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt


I wish to voice out to all my fellow family, friends, neighbours, brothers and sisters, uncles and aunties, to put down our selfishness for once. To put down our stubbornness in believing and supporting a false belief to our future generations that Malaysia was born on the 31st of August 1957.

Let us all fight against this belief, and together, create a new chapter in history, to tell our unborn children that Malaysia was born on the 16th of September 1963, the day when Sabah and Sarawak joined Malaya to form Malaysia. Let us tell our brothers and sisters in Sabah and Sarawak that we have not forgotten them, and we will celebrate our independence together.

Most importantly, let us make a stand, for the first time in the history of Malaysia, so that it would be recorded that its people celebrated its true independence on the Sunday of 16th September 2012.

I recently graduated from Melbourne University with 2 majors in Economics and Psychology. I enjoy chatting, and I do appreciate a good laugh with my friends whenever and wherever possible. I do some occasional...

4 replies on “The Forgotten Land”

  1. I had always felt odd about the real birth of Malaysia. The land of Borneo had always been far and exotic. I had never known Sabahans or Sarawakians until miraculously my friends came over to study in Peninsular Malaysia. They are more colour blind, peace loving and humble people than us Peninsular people generally. They are surprised by my Peninsular directness while I was surprised at their simple but efficient ways. We all learn from each other.

    The best experience was joining the Borneo Hornbill Festival. Our team was made up of many kinds of Malaysians, and we carried the dance as Malaysians because it is our culture together. Dr. Lawrence, the chairperson of the event opined that the Sabah and Sarawakian culture should be preserved, spread and developed into productive economic activity that will help the communities in poverty. I feel that the best way to help the situation in Borneo is through education. No matter what, we must always try our best to safeguard the quality of education. I hope the so-called teachers who abandon their duties for the sake of elaun hidup susah will see some light. I pray for the safety and success of all teachers who cross miles of forest and river to teach in depths of Borneo. Doctors save lives, teachers must save a nation.

Comments are closed.