By Chris Maskilone
KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) must wake up to the reality of the migrant situation in Sabah instead of spewing the same old remarks for the last 40 years but with nothing to show.
Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) Treasurer General, Terence Siambun said the number of illegal immigrants in Sabah has been rising ever since the days when PBS was in government.
“I believe there were 50,000 to 100,000 illegals in Sabah during the time when PBS was the state government. And the number kept climbing with PBS in Barisan Nasional.
“This is the problem with just sitting and shouting about it. The problem festers and grows.
“Please take note that the Warisan-led government has begun what was recommended by the Barisan RCI but (Tan Sri) Pairin Kitingan and (Tan Sri) Musa Aman slept over it,” he said in a statement here today.
Siambun was responding to PBS Information Chief Datuk Joniston Bangkuai who stated that giving out the Sabah Temporary Pass (PSS) to immigrants was tantamount to multiplying their numbers.
Bangkuai also said that the government should just invoke the Immigration Act and deport these people back to their country of origin.
However, Siambun said Warisan has promised to sort it out.
“We cannot be emotional. We must be realistic and most importantly, we must take progressive action.
“The number of stateless persons include many whose nationalities cannot be established because over time they have seeped into our society,” he said.
Siambun who is also a Nominated Assemblyman said Warisan wanted to act and solve the problem in the best interest of Sabah and rakyat.
“I would like to ask Joniston if he knows who these people are.
“If the previous government had identified and kept track of them, then the process of understanding the complex situation would be easier,” he said.
But, the current government was starting from scratch to understand the legal position of these people who held the three different cards, he added.
Siambun said it has to determine how best to deal with the relevant nations to receive their citizens back and also look at the position of some who could be Malaysians at least via one parent.
According to him, the situation was so complex that the BN government, which PBS was very much a part of, did not even dare to resolve it although some directions had been given in the RCI report.
Bangkuai, he said had missed the point because the main purpose of PSS was to determine the number of immigrants and keep track of their movements.
This way we can better regulate and monitor them instead of hollering about an issue that is long known to everyone and then sweeping it under the carpet,” he said.-SabahNewsToday