New Federal stand on illegals
Published on: Friday, May 29, 2020
By: Larry Ralon
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Kota Kinabalu: Star Sabah President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan (pic) said his plan to hold a forum on illegal immigrants in Sabah is to seize the opportunity of the new Federal Government stand on illegal immigrants which is a departure from the previous governments that welcomed them.

He said there is increasing awareness among people in the peninsula on the threat posed by illegals to the nation. 

The Deputy Tourism, Art and Culture Minister said the forum, to be held after the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) has ended, is meant to seek views from stakeholders on how to resolve the problem in Sabah. 

It would also help re-highlight the seriousness of this long-standing problem in the State as well as offer apt solutions for the Federal Government to implement.  

“I am just doing my part as a leader to seek apt solution to the prolonging problem in Sabah. The new Federal Government’s stand on illegals gave new excitement to raise the issue in Sabah again so that drastic action is taken in the State as well,” he said. 

He said the new Federal Government of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is taking action against illegals as well as preventing them from entering like intensifying enforcement along the borders and rat trails, which is also part of the effort to contain Covid-19. 

“So instead of hurling accusations and blaming me for this and that, we should all work together to take the opportunity presented to us,” he told a press conference at his residence in Tamalang Silou, Inanam, Thursday.

Dr Jeffrey, who is also Keningau MP, denied the forum is for his own personal interest. “The new Federal Government is now taking an attitude to focus on resolving this problem right now, so it is timely for us to raise it (the problem in Sabah) again.” 

He also said it is unfair to blame him for not doing such a forum previously because he was not part of the government then.

“They said the previous governments had done many things, including the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants in Sabah, but I was not part of these governments. The ruling party in Sabah was previously part of the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government,” he said. 

Asked if he had raised the issue with the Prime Minister, Dr Jeffrey said “yes, they have talked about it and there is an open mentality in Putrajaya on the matter right now. 

“Like the Rohingya refugees issue in the peninsula, previously the Federal Government seemed to welcome them, encouraging them, but now it is more cautious,” he said. 

Among the vocal opposers of the endless arrivals of Rohingyas, believed brought to Sabah by a syndicate, have been Malays who feel they pose an eventual threat to the community. It was also believed that the arrivals lately have been militants who posed a national security threat and some even ridiculed Malaysian royalty in social media. 



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