Foreigners Everywhere, Nationals Nowhere: Exclusion, Irregularity, and Invisibility of Stateless Bajau Laut in Eastern Sabah, Malaysia

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This article explores impacts of national and regional policies upon the Bajau Laut, who occupy the maritime border region shared by Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia. It considers how maritime movements, ethnogenesis, visions for economic development and commercial interaction have evolved in the region. These processes, combined with contemporary nationalism, border securitization, and conservation render such populations both prominent as a target of governmental action and invisible in terms of provision of social services and implementation of conservation initiatives. These facets complicate issues of political belonging within the state of Sabah, the nation-state of Malaysia, and the wider ASEAN region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-249
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2017


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