Preliminary report on undocumented foreigners next month

KOTA KINABALU: The preliminary report on the undocumented foreign workers and foreign nationals in Sabah will be presented to the cabinet next month.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Jeffrey Kitingan who heads a special committee on the issue said the report will include proposed solutions to Sabah’s illegal immigrants problem.

“So far, the committee has met with relevant government agencies and industry players. I can say that the report is about 60 per cent complete.

“Over the next few weeks, we will canvas opinions from all political parties, including the opposition, to ensure that this report is accurate, balanced and inclusive,” he said in a statement here today.

Kitingan, who is also the Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) President, believes that the final solution to the problem should come from Sabahans and local leaders, rather than the federal government.

“In part, the federal government was to blame for the crisis in the first place and I am convinced that their proposal to issue identity cards to illegal immigrants and foreigners will exacerbate rather than alleviate the problem.

“They are oblivious to the consequences of our demographic being drastically altered as a result of the influx of illegal immigrants.

“Since then, whatever the federal government proposes, will always be perceived with suspicion and distrust by Sabahans,” he said.

Kitingan stated that after the report is accepted and approved by the cabinet, the Sabah government will present their proposal to the federal government, if necessary, and implement the best solution, whatever that may be.

“For years, the issue of illegal immigrants has been the mother of all problems in Sabah and it has been heavily politicised.

“We need address it or else we will never be able to move forward because this issue will always be a hindrance to our development as a nation,” he concluded.

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