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Call for life travel ban on Filipino criminals
Published on: Sunday, June 16, 2019
By: Nikko Fabian
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KOTA KINABALU: Filipinos found guilty of serious crimes in Malaysia should be banned for life from travelling abroad, especially to the country where the crime was committed.

Pictures of these criminals should also be publicly displayed at all entry and exit points in the Philippines, particularly in Mindanao, as a deterrent.

At the same time, the Philippine authorities should get hold of the records of ex-convicts and closely monitor their movements upon arrival in the country.

Reacting to a spate of incidents involving Filipinos here lately, Concern Filipino Professionals Sabah (CFPS) President Datu Ismail Datu Hiya (pic) urged the Duterte administration to consider the suggested measures to discourage Filipinos visiting foreign lands to commit unlawful acts. 

These include murder, rape, drug trafficking, human trafficking, plunder and other heinous crimes. 

“Because of those few irresponsible and greedy people, the good reputation of Filipinos in Sabah is being affected,” he said.

“Unless drastic actions are taken by the Philippine Government and supported with genuine co-operation from the Filipino community here, the good name of Filipinos will always be at the mercy of those few Filipino criminals.”

Globally, Ismail said, Filipinos are reputed as God-fearing, peace-loving, hard-working and law-abiding citizens, among others.

“But because of those few, the hundreds or maybe thousands of others who are now legally working and staying in Sabah and trying to put food on the table for their loved ones back home are suffering in terms of negative reputation,” he stressed.

During the 50s and earlier, Ismail said, Filipinos were respected by the locals here because of their respectable contributions.

“Filipino engineers, educators, surveyors and other professionals contributed significantly in the development of Sabah...unfortunately, things changed in the 70’s when others took advantage of the humanitarian consideration extended to the victims of the Jolo war by the Malaysian Government.

“I think this is the time for the Philippines led by down-to-earth President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to also go after Filipinos who are abusing their freedom of movement by committing crimes while abroad,” he said.

According to him, Malaysia being the host country and its people appreciate the contributions of foreign workers and visitors.

However, he said, Malaysians do not deserve any sort of crimes and injustices committed against their people by foreigners.

“Because of the few rotten eggs in the basket, the others are being affected.” 

Ismail said it would also be logical for the authorities manning the various entry and exit points in the Philippines, particularly in southern Mindanao, to provide detailed briefing on the do’s and don’ts to all travellers bound for Malaysia, especially first timers.

“The local authorities stationed at the Zamboanga City International Port are stringently scrutinising the documents of all Sandakan-bound passengers...but it would also be beneficial if passengers will also be given the said detailed briefing,” he said.

Ismail also urged Filipinos in Sabah to co-operate with the Malaysian authorities in fighting against crime and other unlawful activities.

“Do not hesitate to immediately report to the nearest authorities like the police of any suspicious looking individuals/group roaming around their vicinity...knowledge of the presence or whereabouts of suspected criminals and illegal activities must be reported the soonest possible.

“As temporary visitors of this country, we must help the local authorities in maintaining peace and order in the country...it is also our social obligations not only to Malaysia but also Philippines.”



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