MCA’s Dr Pamela Yong (pic) claims the Sabah government has no intention of sending non-citizens residing in the state back to their home countries with the introduction of the Sabah Temporary Pass (PSS).
The Sabah Wanita MCA chief said if the government was sincere in wanting to solve the illegal immigrant and stateless people issues in Sabah, they would have opted for other measures like enforcing existing laws.
“And if these people are sincere in wanting to find a better living and contribute to the state’s economy, why can’t they come in legally?” she asked during a gathering to object the implementation of PSS in old Membakut town on Wednesday (Jan 15).
Yong said that by choosing to enter Sabah illegally and settling down for generations, these people were willing to break the law and would continue to do so at every chance they had.
“If the government was sincere in wanting to solve this problem, these people should not be confined to only Sabah and should be allowed to move to other states in Malaysia to find a living if they go ahead with the PSS,” said Yong.
The PSS, slated to be implemented starting June this year, will involve IMM13 holders (Filipino) refugees, Burung-Burung and the Census cards holders.
Likewise, SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee questioned the government’s claims that one of the reasons behind the PSS was to gather information on the real number of immigrants and illegal immigrants in Sabah.
“But this year, 2020, is census year so there is ongoing efforts to gather related details, why the need for a PSS?” he asked.
Meanwhile, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) information chief Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said the current government had tricked the people as they never mentioned PSS in their election promises.
The Kiulu assemblyman said Warisan ended up retaining projects like Pan Borneo Highway, Tanjung Aru Eco Development (TAED) and the water dam, formerly known as Kaiduan Dam, which they had earlier rejected.
Joniston said he believed there were members within Warisan, DAP and Upko who did not agree with the PSS but were only following their leaders’ cue.
He called on them to stand up against the PSS.
Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (Star Sabah) president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan warned that issuing the pass could lead to 600,000 immigrant holders in the state. He said this would pose security risks as some might be informants or linked to terrorist groups like the Islamic State (IS) or Abu Sayyaf.
“This move will affect our state’s future and economy. If we do not stop it now, we may not even have to wait for 100 years; maybe even in the next five years, it will be too late to regret,” he said.
Former Kimanis MP and ex-foreign minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman warned that PSS holders could potentially become citizens, sooner or later.
This would make them eligible to become voters, and the power to decide for all constituencies would be taken over by the ‘original Sabahans’, he said.