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THE IMPACT OF MIGRATION TO THE CULTURE OF BUGIS IN TAWAU, SABAH

Zaidahtul Azni Baharuddin, Azahar Hussain Ismail


Universiti of Malaysia Sarawak
Abstract
Migration is a phenomenon that has an impact on the culture of Bugis. This culture has
undergone a transformation due to the migration from Sulawesi, Indonesia to Tawau,
Sabah. This community is concentrated in Tawau therefore to evaluate the Bugis cultural
transformation, this study will be conducted in the same location. The method used are
qualitative and quantitative methods. A total of 296 respondents and four informants
were selected in this study. The information obtained from these two methods allows
researchers to answer the research questions. Research findings have proven migration
Bugis cultural transformation has led to the impression of the effect of external factors.
Introduction
The existence of the Bugis in Tawau to this day is due to the arrival Puado or Puang Ade
', also known as judge. His real name is La Toampang bin Andi Buku@Hj.Hassan. Puado at
that time has established himself as a community leader and was married to a Muslim
ethnic in Tawau. The journey of Puado to Tawau took a whole day. The main factor that
caused his migration is of the outbreak in his region. Originally, there are three main
groups of migratory Bugis. They are chairman Puado, Tuan Daeng Passawa Kuning and
Daing Mepata. The history of the settlements and villages of the Bugis in Tawau is
supported by the explanation given by Maisuri Haji Kuning and was submitted by Goodlet
(1977) who moved to Tawau in 1885 when she was 5 years old at the insistence of the
Dutch. The Dutch had ordered Haji Kuning and Pg Seria Bugis descent moved to Tawau to
the cultivation of oilin order for the dutches conquering the area. (Reprinted from Jamal,
OH 2008). Bugis is a family emerged in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Sulawesi Island can be
divided into four parts; North, South, Central and Southeast Sulawesi. The migration of
Bugis from the Sulawesi Island has helped to diversify and increase the number of ethnic
culture in Sabah.
Literature Review
Literature review was done to collect ideas from other writers or researchers who has
submitted their views or information related to the study. Researchers use resources such
as books, journals, articles and magazines to explore or investigate in depth about the
study. Ideas, data or information obtained will be used to develop his or her idea. Reviews
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by previous researchers are prioritized by connecting to the impact of migration on the


Bugis culture in Tawau.
Lee Migration Theory
Cue
+

: Positive

- : Negative

Kebing (2001)
Lee (1996), defines migration as a change of residence for permanent and semipermanent. This matter aims to study or analyze the amount of migration, reverse
migration direction and general characteristics of migration. There are four important
factors in determining the outcome of a process of migration. Among them are the
positive and negative factors of origin, positive and negative factors in the destination,
the barrier moved and personal factors.
Cultural Theory

Griswold (1986), discussed the bond or relationship between the maker (creator), receiver
(Receiver), cultural objects (cultural objects) and social (social world) in a picture known
as Cultural Diamond. Each item will affect each other and changes this culture
continuously. This description is usually used to debate about the relationship between
the social and cultural objects. Culture and society will affect cultural change around the
world. (In quotes Brinson, P. nd).
The reason Tawau became the focus
An open door policy adopted by Malaysia also encourages the entry of Bugis to Tawau,
Sabah. The policy has established a good relationship with Indonesia. In 1991, Malaysia
and Indonesia have signed an agreement to recognize the Tawau District and City of ParePare in Indonesia as the Twin Cities. Provincial Tawau also serve as the primary location for
agriculture due to its fertile soil and rich volcanic larva which was found in several areas.
Japanese giant company Kuhara(Nissan) and Kubato(Mitsubishi) at that time was working
on rubber plantations, coconut, manila hemp in Tawau in 1916.
Lo(ND) explains that the migration Bugis to Tawau is mainly due to the two large estate
fields Kuhara(rubber and bananas) and estate Kubota(palms) requiring foreign employees
to cultivate the crop. By the end of 1960, the estates were closed, but many of the
workers left settled in the Tawau District. Massive migration for the second time came in
the mid-1960s until the mid-1980s. This is due to the logging companies, cocoa and oil
palm are in a full swing in the Tawau District. (In quotes Sintang, S. H., 2007).
The Bugis culture

BUGIS

CULTURE

Religion and belief

Language and
Writing

Traditional Food

Traditional house Traditional clothes

I. Religion and beliefs


According Pelras (1996), Bugis in ancient times believed that their ancestors were natives
who came from underworld to bring the norms and social rules to earth. Religion and
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beliefs of the Bugis in pre-Islamic times was written by Galigo. Religion is the union that
establishes a relationship with the unseen world, especially God. Before the spread of
Islam, Bugis believe in it 'to block'. (In quotes Sintang, S. H., 2007).
Bugis ancient beliefs formerly sourced I La Galigo. The belief is of old manuscripts known
as paseng. Abbas(2003) stated that the paseng has the ancestors mandates on the
behaviors of the parents that cannot be violated. Paseng is made up of rapang(traditional
management decision), atturiolong(history of hereditary rulers) and ade 'alloping
loping(law in the field of navigation and boats). All content is mapped clearly but from the
aspect of cosmology(the origin of the universe), theogony(the origin of the gods) and
anthropological(human origin) are given greater emphasis in the paper by I La Galigo.
II. Language and Writing
Campbell(1991) says that the Bugis language is derived from Malayo-Polynesian family,
one branch of the Austronesian language. This shows that Bugis language is closely
related to the language of the western part of the Malay Archipelago. Languages such as
Javanese, Sundanese and Madurese. The eastern part however, has to do with the Malay
language. Bugis people do have a language and a writing system of their own. Bugis
writing is known as 'type'. Bugis language was formerly used as the language of the Bugis
cultural activities such as proselytism, trade, agriculture and literature. The creation of
language and writing system are caused by the humans need to produce the results of
their thinking(In quotes Ismail, S. M.D.).
Mattulada(1985) explains that the system of Bugis writing, lontara is sacred because it is
related to spells and mythical matters. Dr. BF Matthes, a Dutch linguist, has done a
detailed study on the literature about the lontara. Her work was then published as the
Bugis-Dutch dictionary. Letters in Bugis are known as 'Sulapak Eppa'E' which means a
square. Sulapaq eppaq wolasuji(rectangular lozenges) are the lontaraq letters which was
initially produced based on the belief that the Bugis is a part of the nature from every
corner of the north, east, south and west. (In quotes Rahman, N. (M.D.)

III. Traditional Food


According to Rahman(nd), Bugis has a variety of traditional foods which are still a tradition
of the Bugis. In fact, it is used as a main course during ceremonies. The traditional food is
actually a recognition of the community to the outside world. He also concluded that the
transfer or transformation of the traditional food has led to the Bugis being less presented
to the public. This is because of the society is now experiencing a shortage of time and
difficulties in obtaining raw materials of the original recipe. Bugis traditional foods that are
commonly found in Tawau are bangke, borongko(as kings), Nasu likku, burasa, Nasu hall,
Beppu laiya, Sokko na palopo, pautan, and sorrow upon sorrow. The food is a must for the
Muslim Bugis people during their gatherings. Bugis traditional foods are made by the
people from the Bugis Islands, Indonesia. They produced food using local natural
ingredients.
IV. Traditional house
The construction of the traditional house of Bugis is really religious. Bugis house has its
own uniqueness because the construction of it is generally based on religious norms,
traditions, cultures and geography. The Bugis house is a shaped platform that is supported
by as many columns as referred to in Bugis language 'aliri' which is mounted vertically.
While the stakes or pattolo are to be installed horizontally. Sumintardji(1981) describes
that Bugis people built houses which has features such as an indoor house without a
porch or a wide open balcony. The front stairs are generally placed under the side of the
house and the roof. The water needed to clean the feet are also available in front of the
stairs. Bugis has a tradition known as the wooden house. Generally, the timber is oblong.
High pole will be used as a basis to cover floors and roofs. I respect the Bugis installation
which symbolizes one's social status, in other words the more poles are installed in a
home, the higher the social status of the owner of the house(Prabowo, R. H. (2002)).
According to Koentjaraningrat(1999), Bugis houses can be classified according to their
functions. Bugis house is divided into three parts; Rakeang, Alo-ball, and Awaso. Rakeang
is the top of the house. It is a room used to store grain and heirlooms. Alo-ball is the
center of the house, a room used to receive guests and family members. It is also where
the sleeping room and the kitchen are located. Awaso or referred to as a hidden place
situated under the house. This room is used to store agricultural equipment and livestock
pens. Bugis houses are constructed usually by facing south or west(Prabowo, R. H., 2002).
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V. Traditional costume
Sintang(2007) describes the traditional dress of Bugis is that of the traditional clothing in
South Sulawesi. Bugis traditional clothing is seen as a product of culture and pride of
Bugis itself. Bugis traditional clothing is known as bodo gesung or Baju Bodo. A shortsleeved shirt bloating on top of the hand. Bodo clothes that are worn by Bugis women
originated from Makassar, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Baju Bodo is one of the oldest traditional
dresses in the world. These garments are usually used for large gatherings such as
weddings. Bodo used with blouse on top of the body while the bottom part are completed
with sarung.
Baju bodo or known in Bugis as Waju poncho or short clothes. The sleeve is connected to
each parts of the body. At the bottom of the sleeve, generally surrounded by bilangan
rimau(flower sleeves). Bugis also mentioned baju bodo as tokko clothes because it is used
to be tokko the buttoned before shaping. The pineapple fibers are the main ingredients to
produce cloths for the males. These clothes should be washed without the use of a
washing machine.
Research Methodology
The research will use a combination of the relationship between quantitative and
qualitative methods to obtain relevant information.

According Sabitha(2006) research

design is created to help researchers to oversee the process of collecting, analyzing and
interpreting the results. In this study, we will be determining the factors of the Bugis
migration to Tawau and the cultural transformation caused by the migration process.
Descriptive statistics were also used to analyze the results.
Quantitative Method
According to Berg(2004) the quantitative research is the study of the shape and size
calculations. Data is collected through the distribution of questionnaires. This study is to
be published with a 'valid' and 'reliable' result. The use of quantitative methods in the
study can create a strong efficacy by using a system of numbers (results of analysis).
Researchers have distributed 290 questionnaires to local residents who are of Bugis in
Tawau(Azrina, N. 2008).

Qualitative method
According to Basri(nd) qualitative research is flexible because this method does not have
any specifications on how the reviews are to be carried out. This method has to deal with
issues and problem statements. The researcher interviewed four informants to help
revealing the impact of migration on Bugis culture. All informants confirmed themselves
having migrated from Sulawesi to Tawau. Until now, most of the informants still commute
to their home provinces for the purpose of visiting relatives.
The background of the study area
The researchers chose Tawau as the focus area because this area has the highest number
of the Bugis ethnic traveling in and out of it. Results of preliminary observations indicate
that the process of migration or displacement often occurs specifically in that area.
Sabahs group of ethnics originally consists of a number of indigenous tribes but now, it
has turned into a plural society due to migration processes that occur at the beginning of
the 10th century. The migration processes are mainly from Sulawesi Island, Indonesia,
Philippine Islands, Cocos Islands and the Moluccas, Sulu and mainland China.

Department of Statistics, Malaysia (2010)


It is undeniable that non-citizens or known as illegal immigrants(PATI) ranked the highest
number. This is due to the fact that Tawau District is very near to the Sulawesi Island,
Indonesia. Since our nations independence declaration, Bugis people from Indonesia in
particular has been accorded the status of citizenship, so much that the community is
greater than the indigenous population. According to the records and statistics released
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by the Department of Statistics, registered foreign population now is more than part of the
total number of immigrants that exists in the state.
Findings
The findings discussed are based on data analysis was done by researchers. Quantitative
data were analyzed using SPSS software Version 2.0. The first part of this description is
based on descriptive statistics that affects the background of the respondent. then the
frequency, cross tabulation, reliability and lastly is the regression.

Generally, the description in chapter 4 will answer all the three research questions,
namely: (a) What are the factors that made Tawau the focus of the Bugis migration?
Factors that caused the Bugis people from Sulawesi to migrate into Tawau is due to social
factors. This is because, cronback's alp(.868) the social factor is higher than the political
and economic factors. If viewed from the analysis of the frequency, a statement
expressing the desire to enjoy basic amenities had occupied the highest percentage
compared with other statements. The pull factors that caused the Bugis migration is
because of the desire of these communities to enjoy basic amenities, such as educational
institutions for their children, hospitals, entertainment centers, bank, water, electricity,
public transport and so on. These facilities may not be provided by the original area of
Sulawesi Island, Indonesia.
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The results obtained in this research differs from the statements expressed by
Osman(2000) which states that the migration Bugis today has been influenced by
economic factors. Tawau Districts resource-rich economy has become more pull factors
encouraging the influx of foreigners, especially Bugis. In the past, this area has become a
center of economic activity by the Japanese before the Second World War. Economic
activities carried out when it is rubber plantation, coconut, manila hemp, fishery and
forestry production. Provincial Tawau can also be used as a port city and for plantation
purposes because of its strategic location bordering limitation British Borneo and Borneo
Netherlands(In quotes Sintang, S. H., 2007).

(a) Does the Bugis culture that tends to be practiced in Tawau, Sabah
undergoes a transformation due to the impact of migration?
Bugis culture that tends to experience change are the religion and beliefs. Regards to the
schedule of reliability and validity tests revealed religions and beliefs have cronback's
alp(.903) are the highest compared with other cultures. The impact of religion and belief is
the most dominant cultural transformation Bugis. It is compatible with the assumption
that the spread of H1 are the factors that influence the Bugis culture change. The
teachings of Islam are strongly practiced in this area has led to the transformation of
Bugis culture. According to one informant, some cultures had to be eliminated due to
conflicts with the teachings of Islam. Bugis culture practiced in Tawau is in contrast to the
culture of our original territory. This is due to the influence of the indigenous communities
and the teachings of Islam.
The findings show that there are 63.5 percent or 188 out of 296 respondents disagreed
with the statement that they are still using books like I La Galigo as a source of
confidence. While 25.0 per cent or 74 respondents also said they strongly agree with the
statement. This has proved that the migration of Bugis to Tawau because they preferred
teachings of Islam compared to Bugis.The migration of Bugis from Sulawesi to Tawau has
caused them to combine the teachings of Islam and Bugis. They cannot get away from
practicing the customs and beliefs of Bugis which has been inherited for ages but those
who had converted to Islam are forced to follow the teachings that have been issued. This
assertion is supported by Syria Binti Mahide, an informant who stated that Bugis now
combine the teachings of Islam and the tradition of the Bugis.
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(a) How to assess the Bugis community acceptance of cultural transformation.


The Bugis people in Tawau are still practicing their Bugis culture even after they migrated
away from their area of origin. Out of 296 respondents, 66.9 percent or 198 respondents
agreed with the statement that they still practice the traditions of Bugis even after the
migration. Respondents who disagreed are of 18:24 per cent or 54 respondents. It can be
concluded that, Bugis customs are still practiced even though they are far from home
territory. The Bugis customs are still being practiced in Tawau. They include the customs
during birth, death and marriage. The Bugis customs are derived from the traditions of
their ancestors.
Each culture of religion and beliefs, language and writing system, traditional food,
traditional houses and traditional costumes are still likely to be practiced openly by the
Bugis community. Although, the impact of migration has led to a cultural change due to
the surrounding factors. Informants also felt that the Bugis culture practiced in this area
has changed following the population that is diverse and varied. Bugis culture has
undergone blending or cultural assimilation with the native population. In addition, Bugis
culture change also occurred because of intermarriage with the natives. Bugis people can
be of prejudice if one of them got married to natives. The community considers that the
existence of these mixed marriages, the original Bugis culture will be eroded little by little.
The researchers also raised questions related to the relevance of a culture that continued
to be practiced by the Bugis in Tawau. All informants thought that the Bugis culture is still
relevant for practice in this area, as long as it does not conflict with the culture of law laid
down by Islam. The community will adopt Bugis culture, which is not in conflict with
Islamic values. Bugis people who now lives in Tawau are still practicing and continuing the
tradition of the Bugis although their culture has undergone a transformation.
Conclusion
The study has shown that the Bugis community has been long-established in Tawau,
Sabah. The migration of this community from Sulawesi Island, Indonesia has led to the
culture transformation due to external factors such as religion and belief, the influence of
other cultures and cultural assimilation. Studies related to the impact of migration Bugis
has focused on sociocultural of the Bugis itself. Although they are not recognized as a
Bumiputera Sabah, Bugis community has now become a part of the Malaysians. Bugis

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people can be easily pointed out by strengthening the core of the foundation of unity
among Malaysians.
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