A Malaysian in BC: Part 3

portuguese-ship

It is important to understand that the Canadian Constitution gives provincial governments jurisdiction over matters like education, language, civil rights and land. Given this high level of autonomy and the logistical and infrastructural implications of Canada’s expansive land mass, the provinces seem to operate like small countries under a loose federation. PETRONAS, the 68th largest company in the world today (Fortune Global 500, 2015), is coming to British Columbia! PETRONAS is a company with regular annual revenues of over USD 100 billion and this arrival in the waters of Lelu island is analogous to Admiral Diogo Lopes de Sequeira sailing into the port of Malacca in 1509. Drawn by the fabled wealth of Malacca, Manuel I, King of Portugal, had sent the admiral to make a trading agreement and the rest of this story is the colonial history of Malaysia. One can only imagine how this mighty corporate intrusion appears to the Lax Kw’alaams, the people who have occupied and preserved their pristine and unceded territories for over 10,000 years.

 

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