Kota Marudu Member of Parliament

Taking issue to next level: PBS

Penampang: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) plans to take Sabah's long-standing and worsening illegal immigrant issue to the world stage if the Federal Government remains non-committal in resolving it.

Its President Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili (pic) said PBS is prepared to do that unless convinced that drastic actions are being taken by Government to cleanse Sabah of illegal immigrants.

"We have set up a Bureau on Illegal Immigration under the party. The bureau will submit a memorandum to the Federal and State Governments.

"Our motto is 'Sabah for Sabahans first' and then only the genuine Malaysians.

"We do not subscribe to 'Sabah for Sabahans' because Sabahans have relatives through mixed marriages. However, illegal immigrants must be arrested and sent back, taken action in accordance to the law.

"We have made a lot of submissions on this matter over the years. We have gone to court, made police reports, gone to the National Registration Department, gone to the Immigration Department and so on...enough have been submitted, enough have been voiced out and yet action taken has yet been satisfactory," he told a press conference after the swearing-in of the party's Supreme Council, Wanita Exco and Youth Exco members at its headquarters, Friday.

It was recently reported that of Sabah's 3.2m population, at least one million are undocumented foreigners. While the Malaysia Agreement assured security for Sabahans in exchange for agreeing to form Malaysia, how this many foreigners managed to enter Sabah and be a potential threat remains unexplained.

Police have also revealed that many terrorists may still be hiding in the State despite frequent arrests.

Ongkili said the party plans to co-organise international forums and seminars on the threats to national security and to the people of Sabah due to the illegal immigrants.

"We will also let the international community knows what is happening. We will start a working group on this, including involving international professionals or Sabahans who are overseas and who have published works on this (Sabah's illegal immigration matters).

"If the Malaysian Federal Government does not want to take this thing seriously, the only way is to gang up globally...our team is solid and ready to move," he said.

Meanwhile, Ongkili is pleased that many young people, including professionals are joining the party, saying it is a good sign for the continuity of the party's struggle for Sabah and Sabahans.

"In the Supreme Council (AMT) itself almost 50 per cent of members are people below 50. In the Youth Exco there are almost 70 per cent new faces and young professionals. Even in the Wanita Exco, large number of them are young.

"This is good because there are a lot of young professionals interested in the party and have come forward to offer themselves to serve the party and the grassroots," he said.

Ongkili said the party will continue focusing on four major issues, firstly the promotion of multiracial politics and unity of the people in Sabah, where it will continue to claim that it is the only genuine multiracial party in Sabah.

Secondly, the dignity of man where the party will continue to voice out on matters pertaining to the freedom of association, freedom of religion, freedom of access to government facilities and government assistance, etc.

"Thirdly, the security of Sabah which has always been number one in our spirit of fighting for Sabah, i.e, for the elimination of illegal immigrants (PTIs) and keeping the country safe.

"And fourthly, Sabah's rights as stated in the Malaysia Agreement 1963. We will continue to fight for the rights of the people of Sabah," he said.

"Our immediate task of course is to continue to voice the rights of the people, defend their aspirations and put the current Government, whether in Parliament or State Government, on their feet so that they do what they have promised to do as in their manifesto and make sure they fulfil certain obligations of good governance.

"This is to make sure the services they promised and the services due to the people are delivered," he said.

He said the party's six assemblymen would continue to speak up and bring matters to the Assembly, while working closely with the Government.

"We will continue to be government-friendly on matters that are good for the people but we can be hard-core opposition against matters that are not good to the people, abusive to the system, destructive to the wellbeing of the people. Whether it is pertaining to security or state rights that is the position we will undertake," he said. - Larry Ralon

Source : Daily Express