KOTA KINABALU: Upko Youth chief Felix Joseph Saang has urged the Federal Government to resolve the illegal immigrants issue that has been plaguing the country for far too long.
The youth wing questioned why the Rohingya refugee issue seemed to draw more attention than the longstanding illegal immigrant issue, a problem that has gotten more severe over the years.
“During this movement control order (MCO) period, I was drawn attention to the call made by the Pertubuhan Pembela-Pembela Islam (Pembela), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) from the Peninsular.
“This NGO wants the Federal Government to issue new identification cards as a measure to curb the syndicate of selling MyKads, which was responsible for the increasing number of illegal immigrants in the country.
“I fully support this because it is obvious that Sabah had suffered the most in this tragedy,” said Felix.
He explained that Upko Youth did not intend to touch on the Rohingya refugee issue for political gain but the illegal immigrant issue which should not be neglected.
Speaking after chairing the Upko Youth Exco videoconference meeting, Felix pointed out that the party has been fighting the issue for so long.
“In fact, Upko was one of the first political parties in Sabah to suggest that the identification cards should be recalled, reissued or renewed.
“When Upko was in the Barisan Nasional (BN) government, we have been warned to leave the coalition due to our persistence and bravery in wanting the issue to be resolved.
“We hope that the political parties in Sabah who are now with the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government would do more than that – to be braver, firmer and more vocal in this issue,” said Felix.
“As for Upko, we will definitely continue to fight and work as hard as we can on this critical issue. We will never ever stop,” he added.
Felix is confident that the State Government is very committed in this issue and that it wanted to find the best solution.
He said that the people of Sabah should understand that the power to solve the illegal immigrants problem in a concrete and stricter manner lies on the Federal Government.
“The National Registry Department (JPN) and the National Security Council (MKN) are both under the Federal Government. Identification cards can only be issued out by JPN.
“The Sabah State Government has no authority over this issue and therefore it cannot issue identification cards or any other form of citizenship documents.
“Only the Federal Government has the power to do so, through departments such as the National Registration Department and the Immigration Department,” he said.
Thus, Upko Youth hoped the Federal Government would implement the suggestion to revoke and renew the identification cards in the country.
On another note, he urged all Sabahans to abide by the rules set under the MCO.
He expressed his gratitude to all the frontliners, namely doctors, nurses, medical officials, police, army, Rela, firefighters, district offices and councils, UPPM personnel, media members and all those who have been involved in the fight against Covid-19, for their dedication and sacrifice.-SabahNewsToday