Monday, September 25

PR applications delayed despite approval of CM – LDP


Chin shares his political views with the delegates at the joint divisional conference in Sandakan.

SANDAKAN (Aug 14): West Malaysians and Sarawakians who have lived and worked in Sabah for more than 20 years should be granted permanent resident (PR) status without delay, said Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) president Datuk Chin Su Phin.

He said many West Malaysians and Sarawakians have lived in Sabah for decades, some of whom have married Sabahans and have children who were born and raised here.

“These people have contributed significantly to our economy, especially in the construction, agriculture and food and beverage (F&B) sectors.

“They are also voters registered in Sabah who support the State Government, yet they have to renew their work pass annually for decades in order to live in Sabah legally,” he said when officiating at the LDP Sekong, Tanjong Papat, Sungai Sibuga and Karamunting joint divisional conference here.

Chin said he had raised the issue with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Noor, who agreed with him that West Malaysians and Sarawakians who have resided in Sabah for over two decades should be granted PR status, provided they have no criminal record.

However, Chin was frustrated with certain civil servants who purportedly delayed the approval process for such PR applications.

To apply for Sabah PR, he explained that applicants are required to submit their applications to the Immigration Department, where they will receive a reference number.

Upon approval by the Chief Minister, he said the application will then be forwarded to the Internal Affairs and Research Office, and this is where the problem lies.

“Despite having the Chief Minister’s endorsement, the applications that have been submitted to the Internal Affairs and Research Office are not being processed for more than a year!

“It should be very easy to check the applicants’ background or whether they have criminal records, now that everything is computerized. The approval process should not take that long.

“Even passports can be issued within a day,” he pointed out.

“Besides, the PR is issued for West Malaysians and Sarawakians so that they no longer need to have work passes to live and work here. They are Malaysian citizens, not criminals.”

He was bewildered as to why illegal immigrants could obtain Malaysian identification card through illegal means, but Malaysians from West Malaysia and Sarawak have to endure red tape to obtain PR status.

“The government should consider granting PR status automatically to West Malaysians and Sarawakians who have lived and worked here for more than 20 years, because they have contributed significantly to our economy as well.”

He also urged the people to support local parties, which when combined with Sarawak’s local political alliance, will ensure East Malaysia have a strong bargaining power for autonomy and to rectify policies that are not in favour of the people.