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‘Overnight citizenship’ for Sabah aliens a thorny electoral issue


Ida Lim, The Malaysian Insider
The award of 'overnight citizenship' to Sabah's illegal immigrants may cost the Najib administration dearly at the ballot box if it is not resolved before the 13th general elections, a federal minister has told Singapore's Sunday Times (ST).

Sabahans have become more unhappy at the federal government's seemingly speedy approval of citizenship to Muslim immigrants, many who are believed to enter the country illegally, seeing the newcomers as a threat, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok told the Singapore paper in an interview published today.

"It's unprecedented. Generally, Sabahans have no problem with migrants, provided they come through the front door, and if they want to apply for citizenship, do it in the proper manner.'They can't expect to get citizenship overnight. There must be value to citizenship," he was quoted as saying.

He urged the federal government to take swift action on Sabah's illegal immigration issue before the next national polls, which must be called by next April.

Dompok told the Singapore paper the citizenship award for illegal immigrants has become an emotional issue for the state's voters.

The thorny issue has caused much concern, with Sabah politicians from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition pushing for a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI), while the federal government appeared to have dragged its feet in resolving the matter.

Dompok told ST that many in Sabah think the "integrity of the system has been compromised".
"My party has made known our stand. My head is on the chopping board as far as this issue is concerned," said the president of United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko), a BN component party in Sabah.

According to The Sunday Times, Upko has pressed for investigations on fears that citizenship is granted to Muslim immigrants "overnight" if they agree to vote for BN.

Dompok had reportedly said last year that the size of the non-Muslim natives and Muslim Bumiputeras were about equal in 1960, but noted that the latter group had doubled in 2000 and was now nearly twice the population of non-Muslim native Sabahans.

Sabah has experienced a population explosion over the years. Lawmakers in Parliament were told last year that the state population, which numbered just over 650,000 in 1970 grew to more than 920,000 in 1980.

Within the next two decades, the state grew by 1.5 million people to reach over 2.4 million in 2000.
Media reports noted that Sabah's population reached 3.12 million in 2010, with foreigners accounting for a substantial 27 per cent of that figure.

The Singapore paper reported that Sabah's population is now one-third larger than neighbouring Sarawak, Malaysia's largest state by area size.

Although Sabah is traditionally viewed as a safe vote bank for BN, failure by the ruling government to address this issue may cost it crucial votes that will enable it to stay on in power.

Urban voters in Sabah had expressed their desire for an RCI on the immigrants issue in a survey carried out by independent pollster Merdeka Centre last May.

Last month, the federal government told Parliament that it was in the final stages of drawing up the RCI's terms of references but there does not seem to have been any further news of the promised RCI since then.

10 comments:

  1. TS BD, why must you run away to Singapore to say what needs to be said in Sabah and Malaysia?

    BN Sabah is becoming BN Semenanjung where all other components are shut up and not allowed to speak a word against what is wrong with the Govt.
    For example, MCA, MIC, Gerakan and PPP have been muzzled so much, there are now irrelevant.
    Sabah BN is becoming the same.

    KB MP says Sabah is 1 of 13 states which is clearly against the original intention of the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
    Did any BN Sabah component say a word about this? The answer is NO.
    Dare any BN Sabah component say a word about this?
    The answer is no one dare to say a single word.

    TS, you know very well Upko is now split into Upko pro-BN and a bigger half Upko pro-opposition or should I say Upko anti-Umno.

    Do the right thing, pull Upko out of BN now.
    If you remain in BN, Upko will probably only retain 1 out of its current 4 MP and 6 DUN. You will even lose in Penampang even in a 3-corner fight.

    Leave BN and join Star and fight to restore Sabah's rights. You may even takeover to be the next Huguan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. they'll leave it to the last minite to deside this. but you are right. Both UPKO and PBRS and for that matter PBS are Duri dalm daging BN sja. join the malays and the chinese in PKR throw in your hand now and demand a bigger KDM slice and representation before PKR gives the KDM allocation to its Malay candidates.

      Delete
  2. linundus kinabaluJuly 15, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    Tan Sri, in Malaysia you present Najib with sky-high praise and now in Singapore you said different thing altogether.I suppose by now you know the definition of proxies and stooges of UMNO/BN! Proxies are those Sabahan who are direct members of Malaya-based parties,they will not hesitate to execute their master's will and orders like giving IC to the illegal immigrant, while stooges are those local-based parties and their members who are loyal and subservient to UMNO/BN-guntalou. Note that both are traitors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gelaran Tan Sri kamu harus dilucutkan serta-merta. Kamu sekarang pengkhianat kepada Umno dan BN. Tanpa Upko kami masih kerajaan Sabah dan Putrajaya. Tanpa Umno kamu sisa dan pengemis politik di Sabah.

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    2. parti UMNO lah parti yang paling dahsyat sifat angkuh dan egonya...saya berdoa agar Tuhan memberikan sedikit teguran kepada parti ini sehingga robohlah keangkuhan mereka dihadapan rakyat supaya mereka ini menyedari bahawa kuasa di dunia itu hanyalah pinjaman sementara untuk mereka berkuasa...biarlah keangkuhan mereka ini bertukar menjadi kesedaran agar mereka teringat kembali bahawa Tuhan itu maha adil...teruskanlah keangkuhan kamu wahai UMNO...teruskanlah...

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  3. Tan Sri, if you cannot voice out and defend Sabah's rights, I suggest you stand down from defending Penampang. Let the opposition, Star, Sapp or Pakatan take Penampang, at least they are willing to voice out and defend Sabah.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. agree with you

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    2. Yup, at least you safe being embarassed like the last time you lost while being CM.

      Delete
    3. totally agree. dompok stp being two tongued and get out and go else where if you think your voice isnt appreciated or heard

      Delete
  4. Tan Sri, last week the idiotic MP Kota Belud says Sabah is and should continue as 1 of 13 states. Dont think we can find a more stupid and foolish Sabahan other than the current leaders of Umno Sabah and Sabah BN compoents, Tan Sri included.

    Tan Sri, what is your opinion? Is Sabah 1 of 13 states? Should Sabah remain as 1 of 13 states forever? Why is it Upko and Upko leaders including Tan Sri has remained dumb and dumber and not said a single word on this? Is a gun being pointed at your head and at the heads of your other leaders including your local champion, WB, that they cannot voice out?

    ReplyDelete

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