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PBS welcomes Home Ministry's effort to solve illegal immigrants problem in Sabah

Updated: Aug 13


KOTA KINABALU, June 14, 2020:

Parti Bersatu Sabah welcomes the Home Ministry's fresh approach to deal with issues pertaining to the large number of illegal immigrants in the state.


Describing it as good news, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said the move would finally overcome the long standing problem concerning the large presence of illegal immigrants in Sabah.


"Finally, our call is heard, and we believe this would resolve this long standing issue. Today, some PBS senior leaders and I met up with Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin to discuss on several issues, including matters concerning illegal immigrants.


"We also handed a memorandum to him to share our recommendations in solving this issue, which has always been our great concern since the party was formed three decades back," said Ongkili, who is also the PBS President.


Among the recommendations is for the government to carry out massive operations to flush out illegal immigrants and deport them to their countries of origins.


Apart from Ongkili, the PBS Deputy President Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai, PBS Vice President Datuk Almudin Kaida; the four PBS assemblymen - the PBS Vice President Datuk Dr Joachim Gunsalam (Kundasang), PBS Secretary General Datuk Jahid Jahim (Tamparuli), PBS Information Chief Datuk Joniston Bangkuai (Kiulu) and PBS Assistant Secretary General Julita Majungki (Matunggong); PBS Youth chief Christopher Mandut and PBS Women chief Datin Malianah Ugau, were present.


According to Hamzah, the fresh approach will solve documentation problems held by 136,055 stateless people in the state, which means the government will only recognise the IMM13 document issued by the Immigration Department to Filipino refugees who fled to Sabah during the civil war in the southern Philippines during the 1970s.


He added that the ministry will assess and identify people holding the IMM13 documents and then make a presentation to the governments of their country of origin to issue them proper travel documents.


After cancelling the IMM13 documents belonging to them, he said they would be allowed to work in the country with a proper travel document of their country, and their status remain as foreigners.


Ongkili added that: "We have full confidence in him (Hamzah) to deliver and cleanse Sabah off illegal immigrants. PBS fully supports and endorse his plans."