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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will ‘lose’ Sabah if it failed to solve the perennial illegal immigrants problem in the State.

“Be careful. The threat is real. One day Malaysia may lose Sabah,” Kota Marudu Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili warned the Parliament, today.

Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili. SNT File Pix

He further told the august House that the problem started in the 1970s and now has bloomed into a national security threat.

“The rakyat (people), especially the young, are in despair and asking the basis question – why can’t the Federal government, with all its security forces and assets, protect Sabah from the intrusion of illegal foreigners and suspected terrorists?

“Various sources, including the National Registration Department, quoted that at least one-third of Sabah’s 3.7 million population are foreigners, and mostly illegal immigrants,” he said.

The Parti Bersatu Sabah President added that some extremist groups like Sabah Sarawak Keluar Malaysia (SSKM) are preaching if Malaysia cannot take care of Sabah, then let other powers take care of Sabahans.

He noted that PBS is against this view, but warned that it can become a reality if no solid commitments are made to rid Sabah of illegals once and for all.

The Federal government set up the Royal Commision of Inquiry (RCI) and the Federal-State Implementation Committee, but till now, no significant action has been taken on the recommendations.

“People are giving up on the ability of the Federal government to protect Sabah from illegal foreigners and foreign possession.

“We fear that one day, it might just happen,” he warned.-SabahNewsToday