PSS among issues contributing to Warisan’s defeat, says DPM

Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail distributes oranges to traders at the morning market at Taman Muda in Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, today.

KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail does not dismiss the possibility the impending implementation of the Sabah Temporary Pass (PSS) was among the factors Warisan lost the Kimanis by-election.

The PSS, scheduled to be implemented in June, is intended to replace three different identification papers held by migrants in Sabah.

But most Kadazan Dusun Murut (KDM) parties in Sabah, such as Parti Bersatu Sabah, Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku and Parti Anak Negeri Sabah, have opposed its implementation because they say it contravenes the Immigration Act requirement that a foreigner must produce a passport when entering Malaysia.

Wan Azizah, who is also the PKR adviser, said there was misconception about the pass when Barisan Nasional blamed the Pakatan Harapan government for wanting to implement it.

“The PSS issue was raised during campaigning in Kimanis and BN had said it was our fault. That is not true,” she told reporters during a visit to the morning market at Taman Muda in Ampang here today.

In the by-election, Warisan’s Karim Bujang lost to BN’s Mohamad Alamin by a 2,029-vote majority.

Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had said earlier this month the PSS was the brainchild of the previous BN government.

He said BN had discussed and agreed to implement the PSS, then known as Pas Residen Sabah (PRESS), but could not do so because it did not win in the last general election.

The opposition had claimed the PSS was a way towards granting citizenship to illegal immigrants.

Putrajaya, however, has denied this, maintaining that the initiative was meant to standardise three documents – the IMM13, Kad Burung Burung and census certificates – held by foreigners in the state.

Meanwhile, Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali said Warisan needed more time to gain the people’s confidence.

He said the party president and chief minister Mohd Shafie Apdal has done his best in the past 20 months.

“But the legacy issues are huge and they need more time to convince the people that Warisan is best for Sabah’s future,” he said.

Azmin, who is also the PKR deputy president, noted that there was not much change in the votes won by Karim compared to those he obtained during the May 2018 general election.

Last night, Karim secured 10,677 votes, a slight drop from the 11,786 he won during GE14.

Azmin said it was, therefore, not a question of dwindling support. “But because this is a rural area, we need more time to convince them that we are trying to close the gap between urban and rural areas,” he said.