PETALING JAYA: Parti Bersatu Sabah information chief Jahid Jahim today hit out at the Warisan-led Sabah government over claims that the party is giving identity cards or MyKads to illegal immigrants in the state.
Jahid, who was the director of the settlement division and secretary of internal affairs under the Chief Minister’s Department, said Warisan leaders and the state government had made many contradictory statements on the matter.
He slammed Warisan deputy president Darell Leiking for offering to resign over the issue, saying the latter was using “reverse psychology” in hopes that the allegations would be difficult to prove.
Labelling it a “meaningless threat”, Jahid said Leiking should instead cross-check with his colleagues and government departments before offering to step down.
“Sabahans are not fools or blind to what has been going on where illegal immigrants were concerned,” he said in a statement.
Jahid also questioned the need for the state government to involve itself in the work of the National Registration Department (NRD) and Immigration Department on the purported census of IMM13 holders and their children, carried out from Oct 1 to 12.
“Warisan chairman and law minister Liew Vui Keong even conceded in a statement on Sept 12 that registration forms for people to get identification cards could be done at the Batu Sapi Rakyat mobile service centre.
“There was no reason for Liew to offer such ‘touting’ services if the people concerned were eligible for MyKads,” he said.
He likewise questioned the timing of recent fires at squatter settlements and the prompt appearance of mobile NRD vans at these areas to help victims.
He noted the lack of official explanation on the spate of such fires, adding that there was no reason for the NRD to appear at the squatter areas.
“Overnight, the NRD suddenly became super efficient by turning up at these burnt-down squatter settlements.
“They would not do so unless instructed by someone with high-ranking authority,” he said, adding that there were “genuine” Sabahans, especially in rural areas, who had no birth certificates until today and therefore could not apply for MyKads.
He claimed the NRD had admitted in a statement on Oct 1 that those who turned up at the vans during visits by Warisan president Shafie Apdal were not eligible for citizenship.
“According to the NRD, these people hold IMM13 refugee passes, settlement certificates or ‘burung burung’ and census certificates.
“Besides IMM13 holders, according to state immigration director Musa Sulaiman on Oct 1, settlement and census certificate holders are also considered refugees.”
Adding however that new registrations under IMM13 were no longer relevant, he asked if there was a “new interpretation” of refugees in Sabah of which the people were unaware.
“The time bomb ticking away in Sabah is the thousands of dubious IC holders who could not convert to the MyKad by the end-2006 deadline.
“They are reportedly not in the NRD data bank. No one knows what became of them. Also, the federal government has since decided that children of ‘stateless people’ will be admitted to government schools.
“All children should be in school, but where’s the proof that these people are stateless?
“So Leiking was just attempting to hoodwink the people by offering to resign,” he said.