RANAU: Parti Kerjasama Anak Negeri (Anak Negeri) has urged the Sabah state government to scrap or oppose plans hatched out by the Malaysian Minister of Home affairs to legalize illegal immigrants in Sabah without first getting these foreigners obtain passports from their country of origins.
Its Protem President, Datuk Henrynus Amin, said issuing identity cards or legalizing paperless foreigners without due process has no constitutional basis, a direct contravention of the Immigration Act 1966 and certainly against the provisions or spirit of the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
He said the law on immigration is clear that no foreign citizen is allowed to enter, stay, live or work in Malaysia without a valid travel document and a proper work permit.
“Those in violation of the law should be arrested and deported to their country of origins, not rewarded with dubious back door identity cards,” he opined.
Anak Negeri reminded the Federal Government that Sabah joined the formation of Malaysia based on security assurances, not economic.
He said the people of Sabah then feared the flow of immigrants into Sabah or Sabahans being overwhelmed demographically not only by foreigners from neighbouring countries but also from West Malaysia.
He said security threat to Sabah is not only about military threat but also demographic invasion by foreigners.
Henrynus said the problem of illegal immigration could be resolved by getting all foreigners apply for passport to be issued by their country of origins and then given work permits.
He said thousands of Filipino workers who are paperless or illegal immigrants have obtained Philippines passport at their own initiative issued by the Philippines visiting consular or embassy officials based in Kuala Lumpur.
“Paperless Indonesians too can apply for Indonesian passport at the Indonesian Consular office in Kota Kinabalu.”
In fact , he said, many Filipino workers with family who have been in Sabah for 20 years or more are returning voluntarily to the Philippines to put their children in school.
“If the Federal Government is sincere and want to resolve the problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah, Malaysian immigration laws must be enforced or applied without fear or favour in order to compel foreign nationals without papers to apply and obtain passport from their home country.
Sabahans he said have no objection to the issuance of work permits to foreign workers with the necessary travel documents.
If the Federal authority were to proceed with acts to legalize illegal immigrants through backdoor tactics, he said there would be strong public response from genuine Sabahans.
He said justification made by the Home Minister that foreigners who have been staying in Sabah for 30 years do not know their country of origin is unacceptable.
He said Sabahans should not be penalized for Federal inaction on these illegal immigrants in the last 30 to 50 years.
If the Home Minister were to force the issuance of identity cards to hundreds of thousands of paperless foreigners in Sabah, the people of Sabah must and will certainly invoke the Malaysia Agreement 1963 on security assurances.
Alternatively, he said Sabahans will demand all paperless foreigners to be issued with identity cards to be relocated to West Malaysia.
He said the Home Minister must allow those illegals given identity cards and their dependents to relocate and settle in West Malaysia for good.
Why must Sabah alone carry the burden of a hosting a million illegal immigrants or to be punished for Federal inaction on illegal immigration in the last 30 to 50 years?