- Pulau Gaya
Pulau Gaya is a sizeable
Malaysian island of 1,465 ha, just 10 minutes off Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. The large and mainly uninhabited portion of island is protected as part of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, and the surface is undeveloped, although the eastern shore supports a well-known illegal Filipino colony, called Kampung Pondo, with stilt houses girdling the beach as far as the eye can see. The federal and the state governments do not officially recognize them. The island has 6,000 floating population of largely Suluks, Bajau, Ubianand Filipinos who provide Kota Kinabalu with cheap labour.The houses are linked by walkways of weathered planks. As the population grew, new houses spread seaward, with no regard for sanitation. Twice, fires wiped out nearly half of Kampung Pondo in 1994and 1998.The speedboat owners are kept busy, ferrying schoolchildren, then housewives, then traders who sell craftwork at the Filipino market in town.
Historically, Pulau Gaya was also the site of the British North Borneo Company's harbour, razed by the rebel
Mat Sallehin 1881.
This village located just opposite the Kota Kinabalu waterfront and occupied by illegal immigrants from the Philippines and is considered a dangerous high crime or "no-go" area by the police and Kota Kinabalu locals.
*"The Star:"A Home Away From Home For Many Filipinos"; Aug 05, 2006
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