KOTA KINABALU: Deputy Home Minister Datuk Azis Jamman has instructed the police to investigate viral reports alleging that the current government is giving citizenship to illegal immigrants in Sabah.
Aziz said he had also instructed the police to look for the people behind in spreading the viral reports and appropriate and stern action to be taken against them for trying to smear the new Parti Warisan Sabah-led state government.
“There have been claims in social media that the Parti Warisan Sabah government, and me myself, have given approval to collect information from illegal immigrants in order for them to be issue with identification cards,” he said.
Azis said this during the Immigration Department’s Ops Mega 3.0 operations at two illegal squatter settlements, namely at Kampung Gentisan in Sepanggar and Kampung Baru in Tanjung Aru, here early Tuesday morning.
Also present during the raids was Immigration Department director-general Mustafar Ali.
In dismissing the claims, Azis said the allegations were part of the opposition’s effort to smear and undermine the Warisan-led state government.
“The opposition claimed that Warisan is harbouring illegal immigrants in Sabah. These are all accusations just to smear our reputation.
“I have given instruction to the police to investigate this matter, and if we find out who the mastermind is that stern action will be taken against them,” he said.
Meanwhile, Aziz said the government was committed towards resolving the illegal immigrant problem not only in the state, but also nationwide.
“I have instructed the Immigration to raid illegal squatters, including my parliamentary constituency in Sepanggar,” said the Sepanggar Member of Parliament.
To a question of the exact figures of illegal immigrants still staying in the state, Azis said the actual figures is difficult to obtain as they would slipped into the country illegally.
“That is why such operation like today is important for the authority to hunt them down, detain them and deport them back to their country of origin.
Meanwhile, Mustafar said since the launched of Ops Mega 3.0 early this year, the Immigration Department have conducted close to 10,000 operations nationwide with up to 3,000 illegal immigrants being detained.
“Ops Mega 3.0 have also seen close to 1,000 employers detained for their failure to surrender their illegal workers voluntarily.
“We realise that many parties were not happy with the way we carry out our task and asked us to slow down our operations and raids.
“But we have given enough ample time for employers and their illegal workers to surrender themselves under the 3+1 programme.
“We realised that our country needs foreign workers, but not illegal immigrants,” he said, adding that the Immigration Department will not compromise anymore and will go out full force in their operations.
The 3+1 Programme is a voluntary surrender programme to enable all illegal immigrants in the country who are not eligible under the Rehiring Programme to return to their countries of origin, voluntarily.
The Rehiring Programme ended on June 30.
Yesterday’s operations saw 640 people being rounded up by the Immigration Department and 58 people were further detained for staying illegally in the country.
Among those detained were 15 men, 15 women, 11 boys and 17 girls who were sheltering illegally at Kampung Gentisan in Sepanggar and Kampung Baru in Tanjung Aru.
Close to 90 officers and personnel from the Immigration Department took art in the four hours operations which begin at midnight on Tuesday, Sept 4.