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Illegals: Warisan queried on silence
Published on: Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS) President Datuk Wilfred Bumburing wants Parti Warisan Sabah President Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal to state its stand on illegal immigrants, and especially those who somehow obtained Malaysian identification documents.

"There are many perceptions among the people that Warisan derives much support from the new citizens," he said. The RCI on the issue under the committee leadership of the Huguan Siou has not made public all its findings and the way forward to solve or heal injustices," he said.

Conscious of the fact that the Chief Ministership of Sabah and Sarawak was initially allowed to be helmed by a non-Muslim native of East Malaysia, Bumburing said his party, "does not mind, but the government must be fair and non-discriminatory to the KDM people."

"Pairin (a Dusun) was Chief Minister before," he recalled, as the spirit of democracy provides that whoever commands the confidence of the majority in the Sabah Legislative Assembly should get the job of heading the second largest state in Malaysia with special MA63 privileges.

Despite contesting all the KDM constituencies and even with additional 13 new state seats, PCS would not be able to form a government on its own, not even with ally Parti Anak Negeri (PAN) in its fold.

Hence, the need to work with other opposition parties. Bumburing, when asked, told Daily Express that among his strongest competitors is the Barisan Nasional. "BN has lots of money and resources.

We can only tell the voters to take whatever is offered and vote for PCS."

Meanwhile, a keynote speaker at a seminar on "Addressing Inequalities for Peace and Justice" jointly organised by Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and the Strengthening Human Rights and Education in Asean/Southeast Asia (SHAPE SEA) network suggested that illegal immigrants in Sabah holding fake Mykads should not be deported as they might have dependants here.

Edmond Bon Tai Soon, in reply to a question from the floor, opined that the matter concerns human rights especially for the dependants who may not know any other country.

"I know I am not a Sabahan. We have to treat everyone equally with human rights," he said.

He noted that even the recommendations by the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) and the workings of the subsequent Committee formed to resolve matters are still unfulfilled.

Bon is the Malaysian Representative to the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) for the period 2016-2019.

UMS Vice-Chancellor Prof. Datuk Dr. D. Kamarudin D. Mudin in his address to the participants, said: "It is our hope that human rights and peace education will become a main feature in institutions of higher learning in the near future."

He said UMS' International Relations programme is designed with a strong orientation on Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law, International Conflict Management and Religion, and Ethnicity and Conflict among others.

"The programme actively engages its students with the work of various government agencies, NGOs, the National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) and other local organisations and communities as part of their fieldwork and research."

"This year will witness the International Relations programme formalising its partnership with the International Committee of the Red Crescent (ICRC) through a Memorandum of Understanding," Prof. Kamarudin said, adding that such collaboration will make possible more activities in the promotion and teaching of International Humanitarian Law, and the work of the ICRC as a humanitarian organisation.

With these academic and field work trainings, Prof. Kamarudin is confident that UMS students will be better prepared to participate in nation building and assume significant and meaningful roles as global citizens.

"UMS recognises its catalytic role in the many challenges of society especially here in the state of Sabah.

As such, the university maximises every opportunity to help bring about knowledge through platforms of dialogue and cooperation with the government and civil society."

"The organising of this human rights seminar is one such platform for the sharing and dissemination of knowledge and information to the public at large. We hope in the near future to establish more partnerships with like-minded institutions and networks." - David Thien and Leonard Alaza


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