KOTA KINABALU: The home ministry must come up with a clear timeline of its plan to rid Sabah of the large presence of illegal immigrants, said PBS information chief Joniston Bangkuai.
In welcoming Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin’s stern warning that undocumented migrants in Sabah should leave the state or risk arrest, Bangkuai said such a timeline would not only assure Sabahans of the government’s seriousness, but also ensure smooth and successful implementation of the plan.
At the Parliament yesterday, Hamzah said a massive operation would be carried out as part of a concerted effort to flush out illegal immigrants in Sabah, followed by deportation to their countries of origin.
Bangkuai said the deportation should also include holders of “Kad Burung-Burung” and “Sijil Banci” which, he said, were “nothing more than a piece of paper to confirm their status as illegal immigrants”.
“It is heartening to note that Hamzah is serious in honouring his pledge to rid Sabah of its long-standing illegal immigrants problem,” added Bangkuai.
PBS is also relieved to note Hamzah’s assurance that no new IMM13 would be issued, which, he said, was consistent with a suggestion contained in the party’s memorandum handed to him during his visit to Sabah in mid-June this year.
PBS also hoped that the government would take the necessary steps to prevent those deported from re-entering the state by keeping close surveillance and conducting regular patrols along the coast especially the “jalan tikus” (illegal routes).
Earlier yesterday, Bangkuai and PBS vice-president Joachim Gunsalam, its secretary-general Jahid Jahim and his assistant Julita Majungki raised the issue in a meeting with deputy home minister Jonathan Yasin at the latter’s office in Putrajaya.
“The deputy minister told us that he was very much in the thick of the action in all discussions in the ministry about solving the illegal immigrants problem.
He added that those repatriated could return and seek employment in Sabah, but with proper documents.