Opposition parties hail decision to scrap PSS
Published on: Thursday, January 23, 2020
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KOTA KINABALU: Opposition Sabah Umno, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and Parti Kerjasama Anak negeri (PKAN) welcomed the State government’s decision to cancel the implementation of Sabah Temporary Pass (PSS).

Sabah Umno Chief Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin said the decision reflected a triumph for the people in Kimanis representing the Sabah people as a whole, who gave victory to Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate in the recently concluded Kimanis by-election.

“This decision is good news to the people of Sabah and it started at the Kimanis by-election when BN and colleagues from the Opposition bloc and NGO bodies voiced grave concern for Sabahans over the implementation of the PSS which will bring a lot of negative implications to the Sabah people,” he said, in a statement.

Bung Moktar who is also Kinabatangan MP said the voice of the people started in Kimanis that rejected the Warisan-led State government by giving Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate the sweet victory.

“We are not politicising the issue. I congratulate the voters in the Kimanis by-election because without the by-election we would not know what is the outcome,” he said.

Bung hoped the State Government would take the best mechanism to tackle the influx of illegal immigrants in Sabah including being committed to deport them to their country of origin.

Parti Bersatu Sabah President Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili praised Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal for respecting the voices of Kimanis voters, PBS and other opposition parties, as well as the overall Sabahans on the PSS issue.

“We hope and pray they will honour this decision because the Pakatan Harapan-Warisan governments are famous for u-turns,” he said, adding the decision was a victory for Sabahans.

Describing it as the right decision, he said Sabah does not need the PSS.

“We have said over and over that this proposed document is destructive to Sabah’s sovereignty, security and people’s livelihood,” said Ongkili, in a statement.

He stressed that there are better ways to resolve the illegal immigrants problem.

“There is a need to form a select committee in the State Assembly or Parliament, and PBS elected representatives will be there to help and contribute.”

He added that PBS would continue to fight and speak up to ensure that the ruling government will honour their words.

A PBS youth leader said Upko’s sudden change of heart on PSS is “laughable”.

PBS Tamparuli youth chief Boe Sendolun said such flip flopping and “abrupt shifting of the goal post” made for bad leadership.

“If Warisan had won in Kimanis, Upko would still be towing the line and be reticent on the issue of PSS. So, why has Upko only now decided to voice their stand against PSS? Did they just realise that one of the main reasons Warisan lost was because of the PSS proposal?” Boe said in a statement here Wednesday.

Boe said the people were beginning to see the weaknesses of Warisan’s policies and style of governing.

He said Warisan’s defeat in Kimanis was a protest against the state government’s conduct and handling of the illegal immigrant issue, “seemingly to put their interest above locals”.

“The state administration also encourages an ethnocentric civil service, with key posts in state and federal departments held by people from Semporna.

“Do you think the people of Sabah can accept this type of administrative conduct whereby good, capable people have been cold-storaged simply because they are not ‘part of the team’?

“Warisan is also a grandstanding government which loves to make announcements on billion-ringgit investments and projects that have yet to materialise. They are like a hot air balloon – big and colourful, but carrying just a small basket,” he said.

Boe said Warisan leaders were the ones calling the shots while their partners – Upko, DAP and PKR – “just fall in line”.

“Only now does Tangau dare to talk of arresting those with kad burung-burung and census certificates, and reviving talk of recalling Malaysian identity cards issued in Sabah to solve the dubious IC problems in the state,” he said.

“He (Tangau) had also contradicted himself when he said Upko had always been consistent in wanting to get rid of the illegal immigration issue in Sabah.

“Where was Upko’s voice when Warisan was hell bent on implementing the PSS?” he said.

Parti Kerjasama Anak Negeri President Datuk Henrynus Amin described the State Cabinet’s decision to scrap the PSS as correct, wise and timely.

He said it was the correct decision which would be welcomed by all Sabahans who were unhappy or rather suspicious about the motives behind the planned implementation.

“Based on the outcome of the Kimanis by election, there was no doubt public sentiments and the political reality on the ground were overwhelmingly opposed to PSS,” he said. 

Henrynus cautioned Sabahans that the scrapping of PSS is not the end of the problem of illegal immigrants. 

He lamented there is yet to be a viable solution to the perennial problem. PKAN would hold a public forum on the problem of illegals in Ranau on Feb. 8 to explain the problem of illegal immigration, gauge grassroots opinion and possibly write a position paper for immediate submission to the State and Federal Government. 

He said Anak Negeri, in principle, agree with the peaceful rally against PSS as a legitimate political expression, but the party is well aware that without an alternative policy solution, the problem is not going away anytine soon. 


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