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Foreigners make up one-third
Published on: Friday, September 28, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Close to one third of Sabah's population now comprises foreigners according to a census by the Department of Statistics. Malaysian citizens make up 2,741,700, while foreigners number 1,158,300.

The data showed that the distribution of foreigners can be found across the State with a substantial comparison to locals found in Lahad Datu and Kinabatangan, in particular.

This was revealed in a paper presented by Sabah Immigration Director Musa Sulaiman titled "Population Statistics: Foreign Residents in Sabah" in conjunction with the Statistical Literacy Seminar held at the Intan Campus in Sepanggar, here, Thursday.

His paper was presented by his Assistant Director (Strategic and Planning Division Head) Lily Surayani Raona. The one-day seminar titled "Mycensus 2020 : Data Anda Masa Depan Kita" was organised by the Department of Statistics.

He went on to explain that the status of foreigners can be divided into three, namely those with valid status, those with illegal status and those with status under the management of the Sabah Foreigners Management Committee.

Those with valid status are foreigners holding Permanent Resident status, visitors, expatriates, foreign workers and IMM13 holders, while those with the status of being illegal are those without pass and have no documents.

Those whose status is under the management of the Sabah Foreigners Management Committee are those with temporary residents status, refugee children without IMM13, document holders other than immigration documents, children born from marriage with illegal immigrants and pa'lauh (sea gypsies).

Statistic arrival of foreign visitors to Sabah, showed that in 2016 the number of foreigners visiting Sabah was 1,230,621. The figure however dropped to 925,255 last year and as of August, this year, a total of 517,484 foreign visitors were recorded.

Over the past three years since 2016, arrival of tourists from China recorded the highest with a total of 859,825, followed by South Koreans (505,326) and Indonesians (345,542).

The top three lowest arrivals are visitors from Singapore (49,655), USA (38,655) and Germany (19,331).

The number of passes and permits issued by the Immigration Department in Sabah as of August this year since 2016 is 26,708.

The most issued are student passes and work passes with a total of 28,908, followed by Social Visit Pass for foreign wives (26,708) and Special Pass (17,705) as of August this year.

The statistics also showed that a huge number of Temporary Special Work Pass Visit were issued to those in the plantation and agriculture sectors over the past three years since 2016 with a total of 194,512 and 76,722, respectively.

As for operations, the Sabah Immigration Department has done a total of 1,010 operations as of August this year, with a total of 21,198 people inspected, leading to the arrests of 8.744 undocumented immigrants and 504 employers.

Of the figure, a total of 3,309 undocumented immigrants were detained during the operations, while 5,435 were arrested after turning themselves in, while a total of 45 employers were detained during operations and 459 were caught under the 459 rehiring programme.

Filipinos topped the chart for those detained with a total of 2,393 as of August this year, followed by Indonesians (816) and Pakistanis (65).

Since 2016 to August this year, a total of 4,514 undocumented immigrants and employers have been charged in court, while 574,619 have been deported since 1990 to August this year.

Meanwhile, the seminar aimed to boost existing good relations between the Department of Statistics and the Federal/State departments and agencies involved.

In addition to providing explanation on the implementation of the Population and Housing Census 2020 (Census 2020), it also provides space and platform for bilateral discussions between the department and others involved in the preparation for the Census 2020. - Sherell Jeffrey



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