Barter trading is a centuries-old practice that goes back to the time when “barter traders” directly exchanged goods for other goods or services without using currencies. They still call it barter even if it has transformed into regular commercial trading using monetary bills. It is temporarily banned by the Malaysian government due to the Lahad Datu standoff with the Sultanate of Sulu declaring its Sabah sovereignty. The ban is lifted just recently but strict rules are applied that made the lives of the marginalized poor even harder.
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[VIDEO]: Barter trading activities in all ports in Sabah have been suspended with immediate effect.
Ninoy Aquino’s Move
Ninoy’s son, Aquino III, tried to please the Malaysians for their financial support by signing a law that created a Bangsamoro nation-state. It is complete with its clearly defined people, its territory, and its armed forces that comprise the description of a nation-state status. This is as if the Sabah invasion is not enough and the Malaysians wish to own the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao or the ARMM. This is manifested by the leftist groups; the MILF, MNLF and the CPP-NPA.
Bongbong Marcos Interfered
Marcos’ son, Bongbong Marcos, blocked the conspiracy and exposed this Bangsamoro Basic Law’s violations of the Constitution. The Senate hearings he spearheaded convinced even those supporting it to junk it or at least, amend it so it would conform to our Constitution. He also blocked the Moro Islamic Liberation Front from using it to create the group’s own independent nation.
The Poor’s Suffering
Nuria Malagday, who buys rice regularly at a market in Tawi-Tawi said that she used to be able to buy a sack for the equivalent of US$12 (RM53), but the price had doubled in recent months. Her son, is a tricycle driver and sole breadwinner after her husband’s death. If he earns enough money in a day for 3kg of rice, she makes porridge out of it. If he earns less, they just drink water and then sleep. She has ten children.
Sabah- Mindanao Trade Must not Require Passport
Residents of Western Mindanao prefer to purchase goods in Sabah, where commodities are cheap. It is also easier for Tawi-Tawi residents to sail to Sabah than to sail to Zamboanga City. This is a customary trade habit during ancient times when Sabah functions as part of the Philippines. Starting April 15 the Malaysian government requires Filipinos and other foreigners to also present passports or seaman books.This will be implemented in the ports of Sandakan, Tawau, Kudat, and the Federal Territory of Labuan. Malaysia will limit traders’ stay in Sabah for a maximum of 7 days maximum. Boat crew will also be prohibited from transferring to other boats until they reaches their port of origin.