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Planned Sabah Temporary Pass holders not entitled to PR: CM
Published on: Thursday, November 21, 2019
By: Ricardo Unto
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KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said Sabah Temporary Pass (PSS) holders under the planned exercise next June will not be given Permanent Residency (PR) or citizenship.

PSS, he said, would only be issued to existing holders of documents, namely IMM13, “Kad Burung-Burung” and Census Certificate which had been verified by the relevant issuing authority.

“Apart from that, data cross-check between agencies will be conducted to ensure the holders are genuine before PSS is issued,” he said to a question by Pitas Assemblyman Datuk Bolkiah Ismail, at the State Legislative Assembly, Wednesday.

“PSS holders are still categorised as foreigners and they are not eligible to be considered for the granting of PR and citizenship.”

The pass was announced after a Main Immigrant Management Committee Meeting co-chaired by Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin and Shafie on Sept. 6.

“The implementation of PSS aims to standardise the various documents held by foreigners or displaced persons in Sabah – IMM13 issued by the Immigration Department, ‘Kad Burung-Burung’ by the Chief Minister’s Department and Census Certificate by the Sabah Federal Special Taskforce.

“The standardisation of documents is done to facilitate the process of identification and operations by enforcement agencies,” he said.

He added, identification documents like the “Kad Burung-Burung” and Census Certificate are not recognised as immigration documents by enforcement agencies for the purpose of being in Malaysia, under the Immigration Regulations 1963.

“To this end, PSS is an immigration document to allow its holder to legally stay temporarily in Malaysia. PSS is only a mechanism to control the whereabouts and movement of foreign citizens in Sabah.

“PSS will be issued in card form equipped with security features such as biometric and unique ID number to differentiate PSS with existing immigration passes.”

Noting that the perennial illegal immigrant issue is complex, Shafie said, it is timely for the Government to take a new approach through the issuance of PSS.

“A special taskforce will be set up at State-level led by the Chief Minister’s Department aside from various agencies like the Immigration Department, Sabah National Security Council and Sabah National Registration Department, among others, to scrutinise the mechanism of PSS and to ensure the smoothness of its operations,” he said.

Shafie also said a PSS will be nullified if the holder is convicted with a criminal offence or had a passport from his or her country of origin.

“However, before any travel document from the country of origin is obtained, these foreigners must hold PSS for the purpose of whereabout and movement record while they are still in the State.”

Based on the record through the process of census and cross-check by Sabah National Security Council, Sabah Chief Minister’s Department and the Immigration Department, from Nov. 26, 2015 until June 15, 2016, there are a total of 136,055 holders of IMM13, “Kad Burung-Burung” and Census Certificate in Sabah.

Of the figure, 51,645 are IMM13 holders, while the holders of “Kad Burung-Burung” and Census Certificate stood at 36,892 and 47,518, respectively.

However, the figure, he said, would change during the next data update which would also involve the registration of the dependents of these document holders.

“The reported 600,000 number of illegal immigrants or foreign citizens is only an estimate which includes their dependents.

“For the purpose of the data update, it will be conducted thoroughly through a mechanism which will be decided by the PSS Special Taskforce,” he said.

Meanwhile, he disclosed that some 587,443 illegal immigrants had been deported from 1990 until Nov 8, this year.

“In this year alone, up to Nov. 8, some 80 deportations had been made involving 9,419 illegal immigrants.

“To streamline the management of deportation, the government had sought the cooperation of the Philippine embassy and the Indonesian consulate.”

He added, all four Temporary Detention Centres in the State are facing overcrowding with the number of detainees reaching 7,463 up to Nov 8, this year.

“Nevertheless, the operations to trace and detain illegal immigrants are still conducted by relevant agencies on a smaller scale.

“This year, up to Nov. 8, some 6,018 integrated operations had been conducted by enforcement agencies.

“However, the government realised that the illegal immigrant problem could not be tackled by solely using the ‘detain and deport’ method.

“Hence, it should be stressed that the effort to overcome the influx of illegal immigrants cannot be achieved immediately.

“The effort should not be solely shouldered by the government as it needs the involvement and cooperation of various quarters, including the public,” he said.

 



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