PBS slammed for cosiness with alleged culprits in Sabah’s illegals mess

A man pushes a trolley at a busy market in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, where a fresh debate is brewing over the influx of illegal immigrants.

KOTA KINABALU: The author of a book documenting Sabah’s illegal immigrants problem has hit out at his former colleagues in PBS for working with the party he holds responsible for uncontrolled immigration faced by the state currently.

“It is very sad that a local-based party like PBS still wants to support BN and Umno, the creator of all this mess,” said Dr Chong Eng Leong, author of the 2009 book “Lest We Forget: Security and Sovereignty of Sabah”, which is critical of peninsular politicians for the “Project IC” scandal.

Chong, a surgeon and a former senator, was once a prominent member of PBS.

He joined PKR in 2008, and currently heads its Sabah Electoral Roll and Illegal Immigrant Affairs Bureau.

Speaking to FMT, Chong said there were now more foreigners than locals in Sabah and alleged that this was the result of a deliberate Barisan Nasional programme to increase the population of the state.

He said BN’s aim was to deny PBS the chance to rule Sabah.

He backed his allegation by citing a finding of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Illegal Immigrants in Sabah, which released its report in December 2015.

Following the inquiry, the National Security Council proposed that a document called Temporary Resident Card be issued to immigrants to replace the IMM13, Surat Burung-Burung and Census Certificate.

The BN government did not follow through with the proposal, but Pakatan Harapan took it up after it won the 2018 general election.

The document has since been renamed Pas Sementara Sabah (PSS) on the recommendation of Sabah Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal.

The announcement that the government was going ahead with the PSS drew much opposition from Umno, PBS, Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku, Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah and others.

They claim that the government may end up granting citizenship to the immigrants.