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Fears more Filipinos may flood Sabah: Former Kota Kinabalu MP
Published on: Friday, September 15, 2023
By: Sohan Das
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Fears more Filipinos may flood Sabah: Former Kota Kinabalu MP
The MV Cathlea passenger ferry.
LABUAN: While the impending commencement of ferry service between Bongao (Southern Philippines) and Lahad Datu may be good news to the economies of the two ports, Sabah’s security concerns should not be overlooked. 

The service may become an easy gateway to Sabah for Filipinos, said former Kota Kinabalu Member of Parliament Datuk Hiew King Chiew.

“The improvement in inter-port connections within BIMP-EAGA should be supported but it should not be a heavy price for Sabah when that nation has included Sabah in its history books as belonging to the Philippines,” he said.

He hoped the immigration and security measurs are in place to deter those who plan to come in hordes for a better life, throw away their documents once here and claim they are stateless to that even their country won’t take them back. 

He said there are no lack of reports of immigrants caught for overstaying, claiming to have lost their documents.

“Their embassy is also noted for reluctance to repatriate them. 

“Even without a convenient and easy ferry link to Sabah, many had been sneaking into the State through rat routes and settling for good. 

“What more an approved link that can carry over a thousand?”

The passenger ferry M/V Cathlea is expected to begin operations end of the month after clearance from the various authorities. 

It would ply between Pari Pari port in Sulawesi and use the facilities at POIC in Lahad Datu.  The vessel has a passenger capacity of 1,400 which is viewed by many as substantial.

“Most countries require visitors to produce proof of where they would stay if visiting and purpose of visits or proof of potential employment before allowing them to disembark. 

“Sabah’s relevant authorities must do the same,” he said. 

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