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Sipaun, as Warisan appointee, not qualified to run down KDM leaders

KOTA KINABALU, June 25, 2020:

Former State Secretary Tan Sri Simon Sipaun should not question Parti Bersatu Sabah's sincerity in providing inputs to solve the perennial issue concerning the large presence of illegal immigrants in Sabah.

In fact, instead of running down Parti Bersatu Sabah and KadazanDusunMurut (KDM) leaders, Sipaun should complement PBS' efforts by contributing ideas on how best to overcome the problem, based on his experience as a senior civil servant. 

Now the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) chairman, Sipaun should also refrain from giving political views, especially if it only meant to please his bosses.

PBS Supreme Council Member, John Masabal, in saying this said that Sipaun's statement criticising party President Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili and his Sabah Star counterpart Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan was typical from a Parti Warisan 'employee'.

"He (Sipaun) should not question our sincerity, especially on PBS' stand of welcoming the fresh approach by the Home ministry to solve the long perennial issue concerning the large presence of illegal immigrants in Sabah.

"Sipaun's comment was a typical Warisan supporter and official, which is political in nature, intended to only please Warisan leaderships," said Masabal, who is also the PBS Moyog branch chief.

It was odd for the head of IDS, which operates as the Warisan think tank, never issued a statement against the proposed implementation of the Sabah Temporary Pass (PSS), which the public knew that they were the architect of the destructive plan.

"Where was he at that point of time? It is rather inappropriate for him as a senior civil servants to put down the KDM leaders as regards the proposed repatriation and ultimate solution of the illegal immigrants issue in Sabah without knowing the true facts, the situation and the stand of the respective parties, including PBS," he stressed.

He added that on the day Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin announced the Ministry's approach on dealing with issues related to the illegal immigrants  problem publicly, PBS had submitted a memorandum outlining the party's views on the matter.

"In our memorandum to the Home Minister, we have never agreed to any plan to issue new IMM13 passes to undocumented illegal immigrants in Sabah, including the holders of the Kad Burung-Burung and Sijil Bancian. 

"In fact a subsequent discussion with the Minister is to start (screening) the IMM13 holders, to investigate and verify whether these are valid documents, and their actual numbers.

"Then, they will be deported. Those sent back will be processed through diplomatic means where their countries of origin should issue passports so they can be facilitated, either to be returned and get proper valid work pass if they wish to work in Sabah. Come and see us and we will share with you our views" Masabal explained, adding details of the PBS memorandum can also be obtained from its headquarters in Donggongon, Penampang.

He noted that PBS had never wavered from its stand from day one since its inception 35 years ago from its position of anti-illegal immigrants, and have been consistent on the matter.

"PBS will never compromise on our stand. We also acknowledge that the current Perikatan Nasional Government has shown its willingness to really deal with the presence of the illegal immigrants in Sabah, once and for all.

"The details have yet to be disclosed and we understand that the paper is being prepared for the Cabinet for such purpose," he said.

Masabal said Sipaun was a retired senior civil servant and culminated his career as the State Secretary of Sabah, which is a powerful and high post.

"As the CEO of the Chief Minister's Department, overseeing such departments as the Internal Security and Resettlement Division which processes work and Permanent Resident passes, during his time as state secretary, what did he do to stop the influx of illegal immigrants and undocumented people, how many documents did he manage to stamp out?

"He is not qualified, as a former senior civil servant, to talk when he should have highlighted what he has been done to eliminate and solve the perennial problem in Sabah, rather than belittling efforts by KDM leaders to find permanent solution to the illegal immigrants menace in the State," said Masabal.

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