KOTA KINABALU: Political rivals of the ruling Warisan party were accused today of trying to win popular support by smearing Warisan as being “illegal-immigrant friendly”.
Warisan deputy president Darrell Leiking said: “There is no way Warisan nor our coalition partners of Upko, DAP and PKR will ever support the legalisation of illegal immigrants.”
He then accused local opposition parties of claiming to be multi-racial but focusing on only one group in practice
Umno, STAR and PBS, among others, have previously accused Warisan of being immigrant-friendly, especially over the now-scrapped plans to introduce a Sabah temporary pass (PSS) for illegal immigrants. The issue was seen as a reason for the party’s loss to Umno in the Kimanis by-election.
Leiking said the federal government should not force the state in accepting its policy on illegal immigrants without consultations with the state.
“The statelessness problem here is quite serious, why are they only focusing on the stateless people in the peninsula? Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin may not even understand the situation in Sabah,” he said.
Leiking said the former home minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, who is now prime minister, had tried to introduce the PSS “and somehow we (Warisan) got the blame”.
He said Warisan president Shafie Apdal had called up then-PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad to say “we don’t want this PSS”.
“But it was his (Muhyiddin’s) proposal and now they are talking about IMM13”, a new standard document to resolve the illegal immigrant and stateless problem in Sabah. At present, migrants possess the IMM13, the Surat Burung-burung and Census Certificate in Sabah.
Former deputy home minister Azis Jamman said there were many fake IMM13 documents still existing in Sabah.
“So when you introduce this and at the same time the fake ones are still out there, how can you solve this problem?” he said. “They must explain what is the mechanism, how can you determine the IMM13 are genuine from the fake ones. All this was never explained to the people of Sabah.”
Seat allocations for general election
Leiking was asked how Warisan and Upko will address allocation of KadazanDusun Murut (KDM) seats for the coming state general election. He noted that Warisan’s partners did not look at the seats based on race.
He said Warisan and partners were all multi-ethnic parties. Even Upko, seen as a KDM outfit before, had gone through a rebranding.
“When you divide seats, you don’t base it on one party but on the ability and the understanding between the parties in our coalition. “You can’t be saying ‘I represent this community and (therefore) my community controls all the seats’. I think that’s wrong but you have to be strategic.
“We saw how Upko progressed from a KDM-based to multi-racial based party, so I don’t think we can say they are KDM alone,” he said, adding Warisan president Shafie will discuss with the other coalition leaders on how best to tackle the 73 state seats up for grabs.