Mass Migration

Sea Nomads in Malaysia Evicted from Floating Homes

Main image to the post Sea Nomads in Malaysia Evicted from Floating Homes

The recent evictions in Sabah state, Malaysia, have displaced over 500 Bajau Laut individuals who belong to a stateless sea-faring community. These sea nomads have historically lived on houseboats or coastal huts built on stilts while hunting for food by free diving with spears, showcasing their remarkable breath-holding abilities that allow them to dive deep into the sea with minimal equipment.

Despite claims by Malaysian authorities that the evictions were necessary to uphold the country's laws and address illegal activities in protected areas, rights groups have criticized the government's actions. The forced removal of the Bajau Laut residents, some of whom have resorted to burning their own homes, has sparked concerns about the fair treatment of ethnic minorities and the lack of access to essential services and proper documentation.

Sabah's minister of tourism defended the evictions, citing security reasons such as combating cross-border crime in the region, but organizations like Pusat Komas have called for the government to provide alternative housing and address documentation issues for the Bajau Laut community. The situation highlights broader questions about the treatment of marginalized groups and the need for inclusive policies to ensure the protection and well-being of all residents, regardless of their ethnic backgrounds.

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Round userpic of the post author Golova Hvosta
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May 21, 2023 | 05:09