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Govt told: Why stop IMM13 holders going to p’sula?
Published on: Sunday, February 23, 2020
By: Sherell Jeffrey
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PENAMPANG: The Federal Government must remove the law which prohibits IMM13 holders in Sabah from migrating to the peninsula for jobs or other reasons.

“If you (Federal) cannot send them back, if you cannot enforce your immigration law, then it is only fair that this is a national problem, it requires national solution,” said Parti Kerjasama Anak Negeri President Datuk Henrynus Amin (pic). 

Henrynus said a lot of them in Sabah want to move there (peninsula). They are not happy being squatters, staying on islands, so why not go to the peninsula.

Why take the Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Rohingyas and Africans when there are so many immigrants in Sabah. 

“It is only a fair demand,” he said in his talk on Filipino refugees and undocumented immigrant issues in Sabah at a political forum at Wisma Kinsabina, Saturday.

The talk was jointly organised by the Gagasan-Anak Negeri and Gabungan Parti-Parti Politik Sabah. 

He said the people of Sabah have been asking the government to enforce the immigration laws strictly.

“If you can enforce strict laws in the peninsula, why can’t you enforce in Sabah, it is unfair for you (Federal Government) to burden the State since you give the ICs, you allow them to come to Sabah. 

“But you want to confine them in Sabah and make it our burden, socially, politically and so forth. 

“So we are asking to share the burden,” he said. 

He noted that Sabah’s opposition leaders as well as those from the ruling party share a common concern on the illegals situation. 

“Although we are from different political parties, we are bound by the common concern about the situation here, we also want to find a common solution. 

“For the time being, those in the government will do their job, while we in the opposition do ours,” he said. 

He proposed several solutions, including for the Philippines to set up their consul office in neighbouring Sarawak or even on islands near Sabah to make it easier for Filipino citizens to renew their passports and get consular services. 

He said the Malaysian Government wants the Philippine Government to set up a consular office in Sabah but the latter is refusing because they believe Sabah is theirs. 

“So if you cannot set up your consul office in Sabah, then you do it in Sarawak at Sindumin or on islands near Sabah to make it easier for citizens to renew their passports and get consular services. 

He also suggested that Sabah introduce own Sabah Resident Identity Cards. 

“The issuance of IC is a national law, so we cannot produce another IC. I am suggesting Sabah Resident Identity Cards. 

“We have a local government ordinance, we can amend that ordinance and register Sabah residents for State purposes only.

“Meaning to say if you want to apply for trading license, you must have proof that not only are you Malaysian, but you are also a Sabah resident. 

“At least having Sabah Resident Card can control a little bit of undocumented immigrants issues,” he said. 

Meanwhile, nowhere in the world but in Malaysia can an illegal immigrant use a Census paper or Kad Burung Burung to become a Permanent Resident (PR), the forum was told. 

“Only in Sabah if you are an illegal you are accorded a red carpet which a very sad thing,” said veteran politician Datuk James Ligunjang.

“You go to Brunei, if you use the Census paper, you will be kicked out. If you go to Australia stricter...but in Sabah, if you are an illegal you seem to be accorded a red carpet,” he said. Ligunjang was representing former Foreign Minister Datuk Anifah Aman at the event organised jointly by Gagasan Anak Negeri with the collaboration of Sabah political parties. 

“Why is the Federal Government only implementing the full extent of the Immigration laws in peninsula but not in Sabah. 

“Last year, the Home Ministry implemented the ‘Back for Good’ programme to allow illegals in peninsula to return to their respective countries with the assistance of the Federal Government.

“So that this year and the years ahead the Federal Government will have zero tolerance on illegal immigrants...but in Sabah there is tolerance. 

“Why is there a double standard in implementing the laws which we have created together. The Sabah and Sarawak members of parliament were involved and supported the laws when they were tabled in the parliament. 

“But why are these laws, which we (Sabah and Sarawak MPs) were involved in making not implemented in Sabah?

That’s a big question mark. If the immigration laws of this country are implemented seriously and sincerely, the illegal immigrant problem in Sabah will be resolved,” said Ligunjang.

The illegal immigrants are becoming a big security threat to Sabah, as evident by the various cases and incidences in and around the State. 

“Like in Keningau, they (illegals) seem to ruling that area now. Penampang will also soon become like Zamboanga,” he said.


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