Saturday, June 19

Postpone temporary pass until next election — Assemblyman

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KOTA KINABALU: Kiulu assemblyman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai has asked the Warisan government to postpone the implementation of the Sabah Temporary Pass (PSS) until the next election.

He said the implementation should be delayed because the number of undocumented people in Sabah are around 600,000.

“This is a very large number. What I am trying to say is that there are many people who feel unhappy with this approach,” he said at the State Legislative Assembly yesterday.

Instead of issuing them documents, Joniston said that the undocumented foreigners should be sent back to their country of origin which can issue their document.

He said that they should be sent back even if they are working here, and they can come back later when all their papers are in order. He stressed that issuing the PSS to undocumented foreigners may send the wrong signal.

Joniston then asked if issuing the document to undocumented foreigners had been the Warisan party’s plan or intention from the beginning. He said that if that was the case, the party should have made it clear in their manifesto by adding it there.

“Then the people will be able to decide if this is something they want,” he said.

He also said that the government should discuss the matter with the Philippines, which he said had already indicated that they were willing to take their people back.

“Discuss with them. This should not be prolonged,” he added.

Joniston also mentioned that in Australia, any foreign nationality found flouting its immigration law are deported, including Malaysians.

He also reminded that the government has already spent hundreds of million for the establishment of Esscom and Esszone after the Tanduo incident. The setting up of Esscom and Esszone is to stop negative elements from penetrating Sabah, he said.

He stressed that the undocumented foreigners should also be sent back and reminded that this is not something new.

“It has been done before,” he said, possibly referring to the era when Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat was the chief minister between 2001 and 2003.

Joniston then re-iterated his call for the implementation of the PSS to be postponed.

“As the people’s representative at my constituency, I can say that 100 per cent are against the PSS. And the government should care about it,” he said.