PBS reiterates need for a bipartisan committee to address Sabah illegal immigrants issue

KOTA KINABALU: Reiterating its stand that all illegal immigrants must be deported, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) has repeated its call to set up a bi-partisan committee in the State Legislative Assembly to find a workable and acceptable solution to the problem.

Its secretary-general Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said inputs from all parties and stakeholders are crucial to ensure action taken to deal with the problem would receive all-round of support and not be questioned and politicised.

“Comparing the preliminary proposal to issue Foreign Workers Card (Kad Pekerja Warga Asing) by the present government with the Sabah Temporary Pass (Pas Sementara Sabah) introduced by the previous Warisan government would only complicate efforts to solve the problem,” he said.

He was responding to the numerous reactions to Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin’s announcement on February 10 that a special card would be issued to undocumented foreigners who have been living in Sabah for generations.

Hamzah had also stated that such a card was only to record their presence and did not imply Malaysian citizenship or permanent resident status.

Joniston had recently echoed a suggestion by PBS President Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili for the setting up of an inter-party committee as Sabah has ultimate power over immigration, especially now that the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) is part of the Constitution following the recent amendment of Article 1(2) and Article 160(2) of the Federal Constitution.

Joniston also believed that as a responsible government, the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) administration would be transparent and would always consider the interest of the people and the state before making any decision to deal with the illegal immigrant’s issue.

“Let’s not make an assumption or jump the gun but instead wait for the State government to provide details of the preliminary discussion it had with Putrajaya.

“I believe our Chief Minister and the State leadership, as ‘Orang Asal Sabah,’ would not agree to a decision or action that would be detrimental to the interest of genuine Sabahans,” he said.

As for PBS, it will never waver from its long-standing firm stance on the illegal immigrant’s issue.

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