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Set Up Sabah Immigration Department to Better Protect Sabah

Kota Kinabalu:     “The Sabah government need to shrug off its nonchalance and “tidak apa” attitude and take serious steps to protect Sabah’s sovereignty and the safety and welfare of Sabahans as the problems of immigration controls have reached epic proportions” commented Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief, and Bingkor Assemblyman on the arrests of immigration officers and separate attempts by Pakistanis being charged to bribe Immigration officers.

“When will the Sabah government ever learn from the continuous threats to Sabah and Sabahans from lack of integrity on immigration controls?”

“When will the Sabah government protect its own house” questioned Dr. Jeffrey.

“The federal Immigration department cannot be trusted or relied upon to handle Sabah’s immigration affairs” said Dr. Jeffrey angrily.

It is like a scene from a P.Ramlee movie.   Instead of exercising its right to protect Sabah, the Sabah government is asking Ali Baba and the 40 thieves to guard Sabah.

There is no question that the authority over immigration lies with the Sabah government.   Instead, it is handing over control and management to the federal government.

“What is the use of preventing Pakatan lawmakers and civil rights activists from entering Sabah when foreigners and would-be criminals are allowed to walk in the front-door through Immigration posts manned by federal officers? asked Dr. Jeffrey.

Where the federal government has previously abused immigration controls and taken no action, rogue immigration officers are now brave enough to break the law on immigration control of foreigners entering Sabah.

“Giving the past harrowing experiences of Sabah’s sovereignty being compromised and the trampling of the rights of the indigenous natives, the one big worrying question on the minds of Sabahans is “Can the federal government be trusted to handle the on-going clampdown on illegal immigrants with integrity and good governance?”.

Dr. Jeffrey said some people are already asking “What is there to prevent the federal agencies from arresting these foreigners and they re-appearing 2-3 months later with Malaysian ICs and appearing on the electoral rolls under a Malay sounding name?”.

The lack of transparency in these operations and arrests as well as insider stories from people involved in these operations adds credibility to the question.

The people are beginning to question why is the Sabah government not taking back control of Immigration affairs since it is a State right agreed at the formation of Malaysia in 1963.

They are now asking “Will the Sabah government be considering taking over full control of the Sabah operations of the Immigration Department or establishing a Sabah Immigration under the control and management of the Sabah government as agreed in the formation of Malaysia and take charge of its own immigration affairs to protect Sabah and Sabahans”.

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