KOTA KINABALU: Putrajaya’s plan to implement the Temporary Sabah Card is unlawful and discriminatory as it allows the migrants without a valid passport and working permit to continue to stay in the state, a Sabah party leader said today
Parti Kerjasama Anak Negeri president Henrynus Amin said under the Immigration Act, no foreigner is allowed entry into Sabah without a valid passport issued by the country of origin.
He said the Sabah authorities could not issue a working permit to any migrant who does not have a passport.
“The PSS proposal, in its present form, is suspicious and discriminatory.
“It is highly unusual for the home ministry to give illegals in Sabah a three-year renewable pass when in fact all other foreign workers with valid passports are only given a year’s work pass.
“The present government is trying to circumvent the law to justify the issuance of the PSS without requiring the illegal immigrants to apply for a valid passport,” he said.
Under the proposed PSS implementation, the home minister plans to replace all the Census letters, Surat Burung-Burung and IMM13 papers issued by the past government to 136,055 migrants with the PSS.
The implementation will also include a census to record the number of dependents of the 136,055 migrants, who are the original holders of the three types of old identification papers.
The home ministry had said around 600,000 are presumed to be without any identification papers and therefore stateless.
Deputy Home Minister Azis Jamman said Putrajaya will only decide on what to do with them after a census is completed. He said the PSS will only focus on the first 136,055 migrants.
He also noted the PSS was in no way a valid Malaysian citizenship document and will have security features to stop any syndicates trying to produce fake PSS cards.
“After the PSS implementation is completed, any migrant, upon checks, still producing the Surat Burung-burung, Census letters and the IMM13 will be detained and deported,” he said.
The PSS is renewable every three years, said Azis, adding that three years is a fair enough time. He said if it is made valid for a shorter term, the Sabah immigration office won’t be able to handle renewals of the PSS.
Henrynus said the three-year renewable PSS plan also looks unfair to other Malaysian citizens, especially those from Peninsular Malaysia, who are only given a one-year renewable work permit to work in Sabah.
Henrynus called on Azis to provide evidence that the temporary pass plan had indeed been mooted by the previous Barisan Nasional administration.
He believed Azis’s recent statement on the matter was nothing but an attempt to shift blame to the previous government as the PSS plan had come under strong opposition from Sabahan leaders.
“If indeed PSS’ proposal was BN’s original idea, it begs the question why Warisan would adopt and implement doubtful policies by a past administration that has already been discredited and rejected by the Sabah voters in the last general election.
“Azis’s claim that his ministry is only adopting Barisan Nasional’s original plan on illegal immigrants is nothing but pure fabrication, an act of political hypocrisy and, therefore, totally unacceptable,” he said.
Towards this end, Henrynus said his party plans to initiate legal action to stop Putrajaya’s plan to implement the PSS on June 1, 2020.