The illegal immigration situation in Sabah is a big and emotional subject for many of us Sabahans. But it always stump my friends, when in the middle of their rants about them Filipino illegal immigrants, I would say, “Hey, didn’t you know that you were descended from Filipinos?” Well, at least the indigenous races of Sabah.
The ancestral Austronesian peoples (ancestors of Kadazans and Dusuns, among others) are believed to have arrived approximately 3,500 years ago as part of a gradual seafaring migration from Southeast Asia, possibly originating in the Fujian and Zhejian provinces of south-eastern China. Evidently our ancestors island-hopped from China to Taiwan, through the Phillippine Archipelago, persumably landed in Kudat, and spread throughout Borneo island. Some later generations later landed in Java island where some went east and founded the peoples of coastal Papua New Guinea. So, some of the gentlemen and ladies there are genetic cousins to us, the Kadazans and Dusuns. Some guys did a genetic population study in 1992: Southeast Asian Mitochondrial DNA Analysis Reveals Genetic Continuity of Ancient Mongoloid Migrations.
So people, don’t be too hard on our Pinoy friends….and I am going to Papua New Guinea next year, yeah!