In Malaysia BBL is not an issue PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 13 January 2016 14:05

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

The Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is a hot topic in the Philippines, especially in Congress (Senate and the Lower House). Probably also a campaign issue since election is forthcoming. It is however seemingly of no interest to Malaysians, even if their Prime Minister Honorable Razak has been in the front pages of Philippine newspapers for his alleged involvement in the early approval of the BBL by our Congress at the instigation of President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III. Allegations of a land purchase (many believe some parts in Mindanao) by Malaysian Prime Minister Razak by the millions of dollars, when Malaysians and some of their government officials were looking into an alleged missing government funds under PM Razak’s administration and was almost toppled from his position when thousands of Malaysians went to the streets to demonstrate (people power style) that started with a big bang but ended with a whimper. Sadly, is of no interest to some Malaysians.The reason is probably they don’t want to get involved in the issue or are prohibited by their government to comment on an issue that is purely an “internal affair” of the Philippines. We respect that stand but at least, they should not say, they are not aware of an issue that allegedly involve their Prime Minister.

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The other night at Hanazono Japanese Restaurant, colleague and friend Drigo Balbon invited two Malaysian journalists, a newspaper editor and his associate for a casual get together because from the looks of it, they were a long time acquaintance of Drigo Balbon. We were not formally introduced but since they were Malaysian journalists visiting Zamboanga City and allegedly looking and verifying reports on the presence and existence of ISIS in Mindanao, Table Talk, who has been following the BBL issue, took advantage of the presence of the Malaysians to ask directly about their opinion on the BBL issue and how the Malaysians are handling the issue and their public opinion on the alleged involvement of their Prime Minister on the BBL issue. The Malaysian newspaper Editor of People’s Paper STAR, a widely read newspaper in Malaysia, equivalent to our  “INQUIRER” said that “he does  not know anything about the issue” and”he is not aware of it”. We speculated that indeed as what was reported in the internet of a news “blackout” on the issue, has been effective and perhaps true.

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Table Talk, being mindful of an unwritten Journalist Code of Ethics not to reveal a story or your source, if you don’t want to, did not force the issue so as not to be perceived as rude. It was indeed an experience and for that we continue speculating on the allegations on the merits of the BBL and instead talk to BBL opposition congressmen and senators perhaps we can get a better view of the opposite side of the BBL that has given Mindanao and its residents a harrowing and traumatic feeling for allegedly being sold by our government to a foreign nation.

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Senatorial candidate Princess Jocel Kiram of Sulu is following religiously with no let-up their family’s claim to North Borneo or Sabah, Malaysia, as integral part of the Sulu Sultanate since time immemorial. Federal Republic of Malaysia is still paying rent to the Kiram Family up to the present. Logically, anyone who rents a property is “he is not the rightful owner”.

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Scoop: Now that the Philippine Government believes that there will be peace in Mindanao, if the BBL will be approved. what will happen now that allegedly ISIS in now in Mindanao and newspaper reports said  recently that “ISIS will create a province in Mindanao”, where? The BBL area? If this is true, it will be a case of “same dog with different collar” Agree or disagree, my opinion.