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Harris' proposal is unlawful: PCS
Published on: Thursday, October 18, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: The suggestion by former Chief Minister Tan Sri Harris Salleh for the blanket legalising of all people in Sabah is illegal and unconstitutional and must be rejected by the citizens of the country, especially the people of Sabah, according to Parti Cinta Sabah President Datuk Seri Wilfred Bumburing.

"As a citizen and native of Sabah, I am duty bound to protect the sanctity of the sovereignty of the country and the rule of law and categorically oppose any attempt to grant permanent status or citizenship without adhering to the due proses of law in processing applications for permanent residents and citizenships," he said in a statement.

He said while it is true that the Federal Government has the power under the constitution to grant citizenship, there is also a due process stipulated by the law.

At the same time, he said, the Federal Government has the duty to protect the interest of Sabahans under the Malaysia Agreement (MA63).

"The MA63 is clear about this. PCS supports the Pakatan Harapan government because of their commitment in up-holding the rule of law and protecting the interest of all citizens irrespective of race and religion.

"The PH government is comprised of political parties who have been championing the rights of Malaysians. The DAP leadership, in particular, had been vocal on the illegal immigrant issue in Sabah and now that they are in the government I urge them to voice out the subject more fervently and realistically," he said.

"During the 13th general elections joint-ceramah with Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim, he agreed with me that there must not be a short cut effort in granting citizenship to people who just came to Sabah yesterday," he said, apparently referring to the surge in the Sabah population the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) pullout from the then ruling Barisan Nasional coalition in 1990.


The Royal Commission of Inquiry on Illegal Immigrants in Sabah acknowledged the unexplained increase and possible existence of a certain "Project IC" to facilitate the issuing of the document to these immigrants, notably Filipinos, after 1990. However there was no affirmative action taken to implement the recommendations of the commission. The RCI report had highlighted the problem of the illegal immigrant issue in Sabah.

"I maintain my stand that there is no country in the world which has no immigrant population. A country like Germany is reportedly having 40 per cent of its present population with immigrant background. However citizenship is gradually granted through a due process of law," said Bumburing.

He pointed out that when Sabah joined in the formation of Malaysia in 1963, the people were exuberant in looking forward to a prosperous and secure future as an independent State within Malaysia.

He lamented that throughout the more than 50 years of existence of the Federation, Sabah ended up being flooded with illegal immigrants to the extent that today the statistic department reckons 30 per cent of the population of Sabah comprised foreigners, notably illegals.

Then, there is also the problem of stateless kids who are now grown up.

"I therefore urge the PH Govt to take definitive action to solve the issue. Even Dr Mahathir had voiced his concern on the possible demographic impact on the Forest City development which potentially brings in 700,000 foreigners into the country. "He is concerned rightly. However, it is estimated that an equal number of foreigners, if not more, are already in Sabah. Therefore it should draw concern from the government.


"When it comes to the security and sovereignty of the country, religious and racial consideration should not be a basis to solve the issue," he said.

Report in the media about the huge turnout of foreigners in Keningau in the field office table of the registration department and the storming of the Sabah immigration office in Dang Bandang, Kota Kinabalu recently had drawn serious concern from the people.

Bumburing noted that the explanation by the Immigration Department on the IMM13 debacle also did not go down well with the people. The Immigration Director-General claimed that there was no registration of IMM13 as it was stopped in 2013. He said it was to update the data on IMM13 holders in the State.

However, some quarters were not convinced.

"To study the status of the stateless kids is a huge exercise and must include the police and other relevant departments and the district offices.

"All the citizens of Sabah are stakeholders on the security of the country and State and, therefore, must be a part of the solution process.


"I welcome the statement by the department that an in-depth discussion has to be done to approach the issue. Proper responsibility and accountability by both the Federal and Sabah State Governments must be adhered to in solving the issue of the influx of illegal immigrants in Malaysia, especially in Sabah.

"The inherent interest of safety and security of the original citizens of this country should and must be ensured first and foremost at all times by all political leaders regardless of their political party affiliations and not to take advantage of the situation instead for personal or individual party interest vis-a-vis the welfare of the true citizens of this country," he added.

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