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Illegals: Graft, illegal issuance of ICs, councils blamed
Published on: Tuesday, June 24, 2014
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Kota Kinabalu: Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) Security Coordinating Intelligence Officer Hassim Justin blamed corruption, illegal issuance of identity cards and local authorities not taking down squatter colonies for the huge increase in the illegal immigrant population in Sabah.This, in turn, has allowed the presence of stooges within, who are now aiding kidnappers from the Southern Philippines in their quest for quick money.

He said although these foreigners stayed in Sabah, their loyalty to the Philippines never swayed and brought also along crimes like drugs, smuggling and piracy.

"Some of the mistakes are also the lackadaisical enforcement of by laws by local governments by refusing to stop illegal immigrants from setting up squatters. "From two or three houses the numbers flourished and local governments find it hard to evict them," he said during a media dialogue on Esscom and Government Services Tax, here.

Hassim also spoke of failed illegal immigrant crackdowns by including local enforcement officers from their working district.

"One of the best methods used by present enforcement agencies to crack down on illegals is by instructing personnel to set up their blocks and raids away from their working district," he said.

Earlier, Hassim said the significant influx of illegals was most noticed during the Berjaya era in the 70s, when they came here for work as Sabah was undergoing massive development. The Filipinos were at the time was a source of cheap construction labour.

While some have been given citizenships and others allowed to return to their homeland, many were also driven to crimes during the reign of Parti Bersatu Sabah when it was in the opposition fold for several years.

"It is perhaps because the State's development allocation was frozen.

At the time the number of house break-ins in the city spiralled to 60 a day.

"These show the natural relation between development and crimes.

If there is no development then more are driven to crimes," he said.

Hassim noted that Filipinos from the region are vengeful and ill-tempered, where disputes often result in shooting and end in bloody feuds.

"A culture they call Rido," he said.

At present, he said based on their intelligence report, when the so-called Royal Sulu Sultanate Forces incursion into Lahad Datu was crushed two years ago, they immediately regrouped to plan a second wave of attack.

"They have restructured (following the death of the so-called Sultan Jamalul Kiram in October), maintaining their claim on Sabah and began recruiting to increase their strength," he said.

However, their military campaign has hit a snag following financial issues, but concerns are rising over "outside" aid from sympathisers, "backers" and illicit activities like kidnap-for-ransom and smuggling activities like cigarettes.

He did not comment if the present kidnap-for-ransom cases in Sabah was to fuel their second attempt to enter Sabah, but admitted it was driven by the payouts.


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