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'Wrong' Chinese tourists
Published on: Saturday, June 14, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: While there is an obvious decline in Chinese tourist arrivals following three cross-border kidnappings in Sabah's east coast since last November, a different category of China visitors have been making their presence felt lately.

Armed with walking-sticks, they pose as mendicants moving from one eatery to another in the capital city as they go on their rounds.

Members of the public who tipped off the Daily Express believe a syndicate may be involved in bringing these beggars to Sabah on social visit pass.

Patrons, who frequented some of the eating establishments, reported having spotted some men and women begging.

They took photographs of the unfamiliar faces and emailed them to Daily Express.

"From the way the men and women speak, using a peculiar Chinese slang, it is obvious that they are not locals but from the rural areas of China.

We believe they return home once their visit passes have expired, only to be replaced by a fresh batch of beggars," said the patrons.

One of them, who often travels to China on business trips, said he is familiar with the mannerism of people who live in the villages in China.

"One of them even claimed to be a Sabahan. And when I asked him where he was living, he replied, 'Where I come from is none of your business,' in strong China slang," a patron identified as Miss Soon related.

According to her, she first saw a Chinese woman asking for alms at the Upperstar in Segama when she was having a drink with a friend about two weeks ago.

"Mind you, it was about midnight. On another day, the same woman appeared at the Asia City 88 Food Court."

"I immediately recognised her. That was when I decided to take a picture of her with my handphone camera," she said.

Meanwhile, the Immigration Department said it would investigate the claims. State Immigration Department Director Noor Alam Khan said action would be taken once investigations on the allegations have been carried out.

"For individuals who are non-citizens or do not have any documents, appropriate action, such as deportation, will be taken against them," he said.

A source from the Federal Task Force Sabah and Labuan Office when contacted said they have not received any complaints regarding this issue.

They said they would investigate the matter before deciding on the next course of action.

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