Tuesday, August 9

GRS-BN has political will to resolve immigrants problem


Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Jeffrey Kitingan — Bernama photo

KOTA KINABALU (May 16): All Sabah leaders from both sides of the political divide want to resolve the problem on inland foreigners in Sabah.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said in fact, all leaders, with the close cooperation with enforcement authorities, are working closely together to find a workable and acceptable solution to the problem right now.

“However, the solution proposed by the Home Ministry to issue a document and call it ‘kad warga asing’ or ‘foreign nationals card’ seems unacceptable to Sabahans.

“This is because that term can be misinterpreted. We must be precise with our language.

“This is why, naming the document ‘non-citizen resident card’ would be more acceptable because it would immediately distinguish these cardholders from the rights of the genuine citizens,” he said.

Apart from this, Kitingan said the GRS-BN government is currently considering outside issuing Sabah IC – perhaps administratively.

Sabahans have long advocated for the issuance of this Sabah IC card, believing that it would go a long way toward ensuring Sabahan rights are protected.

“This card will also help in the identification of genuine Sabahans from non-Sabahans. It is simple to complete because it is only administrative in nature.

“I agree with Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin that we need political will to resolve our problem, particularly our inland foreigners problem.

“We are doing our best to resolve this according to our own abilities, and we hope Putrajaya has the political will to support Sabah’s aspiration,” he said.

On Sunday, Hamzah said Sabah’s undocumented migrant issue could be solved by issuing foreigner cards, but it requires approval from the state government.

He claimed the issue of undocumented migrants was a “time bomb” that could trigger more social problems.

“There are many parents and children born without documents but living in Sabah for a long time.

“We don’t want social problems to gain a foothold in Sabah due to this,” Hamzah said during the launch of an event in conjunction with the Kaamatan Festival celebration in Sabah.