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Paying for failure to plug Labuan loophole: Warisan
Published on: Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) Deputy President Darell Leiking criticised the authorities over the "Menumbok-Jesselton Point loophole" that has enabled non-Sabahans to go in and out of Sabah without proper checks ever since the federalisation of Labuan in 1984.

"I demanded the Home Ministry to explain why there is no immigration checkpoint at Menumbok and Jesselton Point jetty back in 2013 to ensure only those with valid travel documents or passport will be allowed to land and pass the guard post or Customs checks," he said in a statement.

He said the Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in his reply confirmed there is no necessity for immigration inspection as the Home Minister's Directive gazetted on July 26, 1984 and the Malaysian Immigration Circular dated July 27, 1984 provides for automatic exemption to anyone (including foreigners) from having to produce his/her valid travel documents or passport when entering Sabah from Labuan.

Leiking said he subsequently highlighted the issue in the media back in March 2015 when Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, questioned the large number of Pakistanis in the State.

"I specifically pointed out that this loophole had caused us problem big time and will continue to do so unless Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman and his Barisan Nasional State Cabinet Ministers act immediately to rectify the matter.

"Now the Immigration Department believes that the 7 Abu Sayyaf Group members recently nabbed by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division planning to cause terror attacks during the Sea Games closing ceremony and National Day celebration parade slipped into Kuala Lumpur by using this very same loophole and its Director, Musa Sulaiman, said there were previously no immigration checks at the island.

"This clearly portrays the failure on the part of Barisan Nasional Sabah to protect Sabah's safeguards relating to immigration despite this being one of the important powers that our founding forefathers want us to keep.

"Their (Sabah's founding forefathers) rational is understandable; they do not want the State to be overwhelmed by immigrants from Singapore and Malaya which in turn will displace the local and genuine Sabahans socially and economically.

"Thus, isn't the failure to rectify this tell us that Barisan Nasional Sabah have no real passion or commitment to safeguard Sabah's special rights and privileges despite accusing Warisan for only knowing how talk while they 'prefer to work in silence'?" he asked.

Leiking also took a swipe at the Sabah entry ban on human rights activist Ambigaa Sreevenasan and PKR Vice President, Rafizi Ramli.

"My question is between 2015 until now, how many Abu Sayyaf Group members have entered the State and made their way to Kuala Lumpur because of this Menumbok/Labuan loophole?

"Are these Abu Sayaff Group the same people identified by Zahid as being Sulu Commanders in every constituency in Sabah?"

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