Photographer's Note

The children of the Sea Bajaus in most of the islands off the coast, between Kunak and Tawau are stateless. Stateless is a demographic term which defines a person as having no geographic state from which he or she originated from.

The children you see in the photo, are children from an island called Maiga. Technically they are not Malaysian, even though they were born and raised on Malaysian soil/water. The Malaysian government doesn't recognize them as citizen. So are the other two neighboring governments.

With no citizenship, they therefore have no education, medical and employment benefits, making them totally hopeless on land.

Just like their fathers, grandfathers and forefathers,these young Sea Bajaus will continue living off and living on the sea.

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Additional Photos by Rabani HMA (rabani) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1133 W: 1 N: 3217] (9645)
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