State Govt scraps the PSS plan
Published on: Thursday, January 23, 2020
By: Larry Ralon
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KOTA KINABALU: The State Cabinet on Wednesday decided to cancel the planned issuance of the controversial Sabah Temporary Pass (PSS) in June for replacing the IMM13, Kad Burung Burung and Census Card documents now in the possession of foreigners in the State. 

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said the decision was made during the meeting at the State Administrative Centre (PPNS) here after he and fellow Cabinet members went thorough all that had happened and what the people have voiced out regarding the issue. 

“The State Cabinet today decided that PSS is cancelled, after listening to all that the people have voiced out not only at the Kimanis parliamentary by-election but also those who were against it. 

“We heard their voices. Thus, the State Cabinet decided that we notify the Home Ministry (KDN) being the Ministry responsible for its implementation, to cancel the plan to continue with it this July,” he told a press conference after the signing of a Note of Collaboration between Human Resource Development Department (JPSM) and Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between JPSM and Petra Energy Berhad. All State Cabinet members were present. 

On whether there is an alternative as replacement, Mohd Shafie said it depends on the Home Ministry.

“The State Government will perform its responsibility as it normally does, in terms of management of illegal immigrants, to the best of its ability, where we will ensure that the situation will not affect not only security but also the existing environment in Sabah,” he said. 

Asked on the next step, he said: “Well, we will wait because I have to discuss with the KDN on this issue. “I have communicated it with the KDN. Only that officially I inform here that that this is not a decision that a single person can make. I have to discuss it at the Cabinet-level because after we saw and heard what the people have voiced out, not only at the Kimanis level but also by certain quarters.

“But it is proven that the voices of people at the Kimanis level is a sign. And also the voices of those in the KDM (Kadazandusun and Murut) areas there which we cannot take lightly and we listened to their voices,” he said. 

On what was the biggest reason the people gave in not wanting the PSS, Mohd Shafie said they thought that when the document (PSS) is issued it is going to be issuing IC which is totally wrong. 

“But we will leave it to the KDN and we will listen to what recommendations it will make. 

“We (State Government) ourselves cannot cancel it because it is the responsibility of the Home Ministry which looks after the management of foreigners. Of course, the State Government has a role to play in looking at how the problem of illegal immigrant presence in Sabah can be dealt with in future,” he said. 

On the (employment) needs of the State business community, Mohd Shafie said that is another matter. 

“We will study the needs of sectors like the plantation sector so we can facilitate them. (The issuance of) Work permit is still on, because we have to ensure that these sectors concerned will not be affected...we do not want perception of involvement in issuing identity cards (ICs). 

Asked if he see the cancelling of PSS as derailing the ultimate solution to the illegal immigrant presence in Sabah, Mohd Shafie said: “Well, the KDN may have to find a solution and we can work out how best this matter can be resolved.

“Never mind, the most important is that today the State Cabinet has proposed that we cancel and we officially hand it over and we will send a notification letter to the KDN.” 

Mohd Shafie stressed that as Parti Warisan Sabah President, he shoulders the defeat in the Kimanis by-election alone. 

“Don’t blame others,” he said, adding that they accepted the decision made the Kimanis people. “We will also continue our services for all in Kimanis, as what we had promised. We at Warisan and the component parties thank those who have given their strong support to us until we achieved over 10,000 votes. 

The Home Ministry and the State Government had planned to introduce the high-security biometric PSS card to some 135,000 Filipino refugees and their families currently registered under the three documents, of which only the IMM13 is a legal immigration pass. 

The issue was widely used by the opposition Barisan Nasional and cited as one of the reasons Parti Warisan candidate Datuk Karim Bujang lost in the just concluded Kimanis parliamentary by-election.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau, who is also Upko President, on Tuesday said Upko would propose, soon as possible, to the Government not to proceed with the introduction of the PSS. 

“Instead the Government must concentrate to find a solution to deport the refugees’ home to their country; and also to come up with a strict mechanism of preventing illegals from penetrating our borders,” he said.


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