Monthly Archives: March 2009

EDUCATION FOR ALL


Recently, despite of the existence of school KAFA in Kampung Bahagia, there are still many refugees children don’t know how to read and write. This problem traced as the KAFA began its operation last two years. Although this dilemma just made known lately, in previous years it already became a problem of some parents who have the desire to send their children to school. There are parents successfully sent their children to school while the other failed. There are many factors contributing to this problem especially on the side of parents who were easily wilt should they encounter challenges. Based on general opinion, there are three reasons that contribute to the continuous existence of educational problem among the refugees: firstly, the lack of interest of some parents to give their children’s education, secondly, not accessible to any government and private schools because they are refugees. Thirdly, the busyness of the parents in searching for daily survival is also contributing to it.

There are cases some parents only send their children to school just to learn the basic of read and write. If there children knew it all the parents would discourage them from entering school. Some parents rather choose to let their children to work in factories, sell fishes in the market and help them at home than to let their children to continue their studies.
The effect of educational problem among the refugees’ children in the past has been felt today. Most of the refugees’ children who have no access to education before are now facing the consequences as they want to have stable job to sustain their families. By now they realize the important of education to their lives. The only hope which they have in mind is that they don’t want their children to mimic their failure on education.

Refugees are not at all time seeking refuge. Someday they will become like anyone, free to go anywhere. As long as they are here in Malaysia, they will soon be given status of permanent residence. Sooner or later they will soon live anywhere in Malaysia. If they have no adequate knowledge how they can contribute to the economy of Malaysia?

I believed it’s only educated individual who have more concern about development, peace and harmony within the society. Since the refugees also exist as human and also partially part of Malaysian society, help them to find ways and means that can possibly bring in the light of knowledge to their midst without any hindrance. If it’s difficult to the government of Malaysia to reconsider the acceptance of refugees to admit in government schools even just in private will do so that the refugees’ children will not grow uneducated.

We thank the Malaysian government for giving the school KAFA.

AN HOUR WITH MR. NASIR ABDULLAH, A Chairperson of Skim Penempatan Kampung Bahagia

This conversation was undertaken in Skim Penempatan Kampung Bahagia on March 16, 2009 at the house of Mr. Nasir Abdullah.

Yaz: Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullah. Since when you start involving in community leadership?

Nasir: Waalaikum salam warahmatullah, Actually, I start my involvement in community leadership way back 1992 at the time when Sharif Jul bin Titing served as chairperson (JKKP) of Skim Penempatan Kampung Bahagia. By that time, I already have experience in leadership only not yet fully matured compare to this time. Then I tasked as an adviser of the chairperson. With this little task, I tried my best to give what I can. At the time when Sharif Jul bin Titing retired from his post as chairperson, his brother Sharif Hashim replaced him. It was 1994 the leadership transition took place. As new chairperson, Sharif Hashim appointed me as his adviser until 1995. After that, he assigned me to hold security task in the community. After two years, I assigned to chair the religious affair in the community. It was that time people started calling me Imam. I spent 7 years as a caretaker of religious affair in this community. After that position the people of the community entrusted me to serve as their chairperson. It was in 2004 where my career as chairperson Skim Penempatan Kampung Bahagia started. With this position, I found many challenges, which I did not meet when I was an adviser. However, it did not stop me to serve my people.

Yaz: as a chairperson what are the approaches you adopt to maintain peace and harmony in this community.

Nasir: Based on my experience mingling with the people is the best approach I have shown to them. Through this approach, the bond of love between leader and its subject will loom. If this chemistry realize burden in handling community will lessen. The biggest problem will arise once a leader like me tolerates tribalism. I believed a community should stand as one body and soul. The latter should advise the erstwhile in any transaction. So do with community. His populace in all the ways should not forsake the leader. The people should give comment, suggestion, and recommendation, which can bring goodness to the community as a whole.

Yaz: For almost 5 years as a chairperson, what do you prospect for the future of your community and its people?

Nasir: Well, all of us have respective vision. As a leader, I wish, as I retire from this post, I can see my community improving in all aspect. Thanks to Allah by now, our community is religiously active. I am sure Allah will not take this from us once the people will not swerve from his path. I hope in the future, with the help of Allah, we can build madrasah for our people even though we already given school KAFA. I saw that once our children finish grade 6 from said school they have no other option than to stop studying. Therefore, if there is madrasah in this community, those pupils from KAFA who want to pursue their studies they can have it here. As of now, this is my concern most. I hope before I step down I can find ways to realize my vision for my community and my people.

Yaz: Lastly, What is your stand towards pollution emitted from Palm oil factories, IOI and IJM?

Nasir: Honestly, this problem is detrimental to our health particularly to our children. In past few years there have been many complains I received from my people especially the owners of fish cages regarding hundreds of their fishes died caused by the toxic from IOI factory poured to the seawater. As I knew that, I automatically brought that complaint to the management of said factory, however, the case unfairly settled. I hope the pollution problem in our community will solve fairly.

Additionally, why I mention pollution problem as detrimental, lately I observed there has been many changes I see in my people regarding health crisis. Maybe if you want to conduct research inside the community you will find many people suffering from cold and other sickness. What amazes me why our children always having this illness? Before, we don’t experience it. I’m afraid; this problem would affect our health seriously should this problem remain unsolved.

Yaz: I thank you for your time. I wish you all the best.

Category: Uncategorized

Living with Pollution


Our world today is getting closer to doom if humankind don’t take responsibility on their daily transaction in this world. Many people exuberate to have oil companies capable to produce million of dollars per day. But they failed to make people and environment happy. They only know the value of dollars but do not care about people health and environment. How many billion of dollars do the companies benefited out of palm oil? Are the profit benefited from this business is enough to pay for a live of innocent child contaminated by the diseases brought by substance emitted from factories? How about our environment? Can billion of dollars capable to save them too?

Let us ponder for a while why there have been lot of people in the world went out to the street and shout “SAVE OUR PLANET EARTH”. Isn’t this message enough to tell that our world is already suffering? Where is our environmentalist and leaders? What is the use of environmental laws should it only put in the pages of books? Sometimes our leaders just pretend as saviour of humanity and environment. But until what extend they exert efforts to quell the pollution currently destroying our surroundings. To question the sincerity of our leaders is another story. However, let us be pragmatic. Our environment threatened by pollution coming from various sources. The life of humanity is at risk. Where are the leaders of this time to address these problems?

In Sandakan we are not free of pollution too. Some communities particularly slums open to this sort of problem. One of the places I would like to share is the plight of the Skim Penempatan Kampung Bahagia and its people. For past few years before the two giant companies of Palm oil in Malaysia (IOI and IJM) build in this neighbourhood Skim Penampatan Kampung Bahagia had clean air and water. By that time the children not only enjoying the clean air but also took their time swam in the clear sea water just beneath the bridge of this place without any fear of toxic. While entering the community fresh air from the mountain can be sense by our olfaction. Fishes, crabs and prawns are visible swam just beneath our homes. The mud during low tides had variety of shells crawled searching for their foods. The people in this neighbourhood by that time really basked the gift of God put in the clean environment. Sad to say, nowadays that natural endowment can not anymore found here. All those gifts are gone. Only remain is the good memory. Factories toxic have taken it all away from us. The aroma from these oil factories has become the aroma of our community. The dirt discharge from these companies became the colour of our sea water and the atmosphere filled with heavy black smoke.

The question now is the substance and the black smoke emitted from these factories not dangerous to our health? Why the management of these companies don’t tell the people in this community if the substance and smoke discharge not risk to their lives and to environment. What is really behind?


It is known Skim Penempatan Kampung Bahagia is refugees’ community. All we need from the management and owner of these companies is to give attention to this matter sincerely. Don’t let the people in this community incognizant of the fact. If this place is not anymore safe to us then tell our people, particularly the leaders about this problem. We are appealing to all please look at us with mercy. We are already suffering for past ten years. There have been lots of damages caused by this man-made catastrophe in our community. Let us join hand to save the lives of people living in this community and our environment.

Category: Uncategorized

KAFA celebrating Maulidur Rasul

All around the Ummah, Muslims are showing their love to the Last and final Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam by celebrating his Birthday on Rabbiul Awwal 1430. There are at least 45 Muslim countries, including Malaysia, in the world which maintaining the celebration of the beloved Prophet. On the month of Rabiul Awwal according to http://www.al-azim.com there were many incidents happened during this month aside from Prophet’s birthday. If Muslim ummah celebrating this occasion it means they are not only commemorating prophet’s birthday as well as to remember what were happened in the history of the Muslim.

By following this long standing Muslim practice and love for Rasulullah the Populace in Skim Penempatan Kampung Bahagia is as well commemorating Prophet’s Birthday through the initiative of school KAFA and other people in the community. This celebration divided into two different programs. One of which was following the Folk Muslim type of celebrating Maulid in Sulu and the other was undertaken in school by listening to the message delivered by Mr. Nasir Abdullah about Maulidur Rasul. After the message, the faculties giving quizzes to the pupils related to the occasion.

Prophet Muhammad, without doubt, is a Messenger and the Final Prophet of Allah sent not only to Humanity but to all creations as well. He was the most merciful person. Allah called him as (a mercy to the worlds) (Al-Anbiya’ 21: 107) He was merciful to his family, followers, friends, even enemies. He was merciful to young and old, to humans and to animals.*

* www.islamonline.com