More crimes involving foreigners in Sabah, warns Upko

A hostage drama in Tuaran on Jan 13, in which a man took a toddler as hostage. He was later shot dead by police.

KOTA KINABALU: A leader from Sabah-based Upko, which is part of the coalition ruling the state, has warned authorities of a spike in cases of crime involving foreigners.

“It is only the first month of this year and a lot of cases have already been reported,” said Upko Youth chief Felix Joseph Saang.

He cited the robbery attempt by a goldsmith using explosives in Segama, the hostage case involving a child in Telipok Ria, Tuaran and the assault on a homestay operator in Tamparuli.

“Upko Youth is concerned that almost all of these criminal cases involved foreigners, mostly illegals. We have to curb their presence in the state,” he said.

He said it was “open secret” that many foreigners were given Malaysian identification documents “through the backdoor”.

He urged authorities to recall and reissue all identification cards issued in the state.

“This can certainly be a part of the solution. By recalling the identity cards in Sabah, it can ensure the integrity of the identification document,” he said.

“The government needs to take feasible yet drastic measures to address the problem. There is no two-ways about it,” said Felix.