Published on: Monday, January 21, 2013
Kota Kinabalu: The Moro refugees and immigrants in Sabah should take the opportunity to return and develop their homeland in Mindanao, Philippines.
Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) Tan Sri Joseph Kurup believed the services of the Moro people in the state were very much needed in their homeland, now that peace was restored there.
"In view of their (Philippines) government admission that there is an abundance of natural resources in Mindanao, I believe the Moro people should return and grab the opportunity of what their homeland has to offer.
"Their government has also requested our (Malaysia) government to help them build their state, which we are happy to do so.
But their people should also be willing to help themselves first," he said.
Kurup, who is also Natural Resources and Environment Deputy Minister, was commenting on a call by Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chairman Murad Ibrahim yesterday, urging its people in Sabah to return home.
He said the Moro people should no longer fear returning to their country of origin, following the peace agreement signed between MILF and the Philippine Government last year, in which the Malaysian Government played a significant role.
He said Malaysia's role in the peace process was yet, another sincere and honest effort by the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, to help the Sabah people solve the problem of undocumented immigrants in the state, besides forming the Royal Comission of Inquiry on illegal immigrants in the state.