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Leaders laud new measures on illegals
Published on: Sunday, December 14, 2014
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KOTA KINABALU: Many Sabah Umno leaders have lauded the drastic measures announced by the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman to address the problem of illegal immigrants in the State.While supporting the recommendations to tackle the perennial issue, they also called for these measures to strengthen existing procedures to further tighten entry of illegals into Sabah.

Umno Kudat Divisional Chief Datuk Bolkiah Ismail said improvement on the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) on detention and deportation was very timely to cut red tape.

"I agree with Musa that there is a need to review and further improve the SOP which starts from remanding, investigating and deporting the illegals.

"I believe it is imperative to cut red tape in each process so that these illegals would not be here for too long and waste our government funds.

"That is why unnecessary procedures should be done away with and replaced with better ones that expedite their works effectively and efficiently," he said to Daily Express here.

Bolkiah was commenting on Musa's announcement on Wednesday that the Sabah government will focus on detention and deportation of illegal immigrants as well as curbing the illegal entry of foreigners.

He said this when chairing two meetings related to security in Sabah, the State Security Working Committee and the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone).

Bolkiah who is also Industrial Development Assistant Minister said he also agreed with Musa that cooperation and commitment from the country of origin is urgently needed to expedite the process of deporting the illegals.

Setting up a special task force chaired by the State Secretary to do follow-up actions on the issue, he said is a smart move to focus on tackling the procedures that possibly could shorten the time for the illegals to be in the Temporary Detention Centres (TDC) in Sabah.

At the same time, he hoped the Federal government would also assist in this matter as the country has good bilateral ties with neighbouring countries.

Bolkiah said increasing the capacity of the TDCs as among the main focus of Musa could also resolve problems faced by enforcement authorities to detain or remand the illegals as the capacity of their lock-ups is limited.

He also called for grave action to be taken against any community leaders like headmen and chairmen of the Village Security and Development Committee (JKKK) found harbouring illegals in their respective areas.

At the same time, he said these community leaders must be alert and channel information on the presence of illegal immigrants in their areas so that quick action could be taken.

Meanwhile Umno Tawau Divisional Chief Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan is optimistic that the implementation of the drastic measures announced by Musa will able to address the illegal entry of these foreigners.

He said those measures are comprehensive enough to cover the enforcement both in the waters and on land.

Tawfiq supported these measures as illegal immigrants are a perennial burden to the government, especially their enjoying public facilities meant for locals and creating problems like illegal connections of water, electricity and related services.

"The integrated operation should involve the volunteer security forces teams such as Rela, Askar Wataniah and Sukarelawan Polis, as they are more familiar with locality and the people in their areas.

"The operation should cover all squatter areas," he said, when contacted here.

It was reported on Thursday that Musa has agreed to re-introduce integrated operations immediately and to extend the current strategy of keeping in place a curfew in the Esszone that would strengthen a suggestion to gazette islands used by illegal immigrants and criminals as a restricted area.

Silam MP, Datuk Datu Nasrun Datu Mansur, who also welcomed these measures, suggested the creation of a micro biometric database so as to ensure the illegals that have been deported will not return to the State.

He said the existence of such database could also detect illegal immigrants who commit repeat offences.

He also proposed heavier penalties be imposed on illegal repeat offenders.

Umno Silam Deputy Chief, Datuk Mohd Suhaili Said said gazetting islands believed to be used by illegal immigrants and cross border criminals could deter them from making those islands as their hiding places and nests which could threaten the security of the State.

" Therefore, the implementation of these measures is very timely and will have a positive impact on the State's economy," he said.


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