Sabah seems to have painted itself into a corner over the influx of 'foreigners' after its prompt action against Sabahans who have 'native' status.
KOTA KINABALU: Swift action by the Sabah Barisan Nasional government against Sabahans who have ‘native’ status has added impetus to the single-minded calls to similarly strip the thousands of foreigners who have gained citizenship through dubious means.
Sabah DAP said Chief Minister Musa Aman’s government should have the same energy to act against the hundreds of thousands of foreigners who have gained legality in the state and have fraudulently availed themselves of the privileges afforded to ‘bumiputeras’.
State party secretary Dr Edwin Bosi said the issuance of citizenship to foreigners is far more serious compared to the validity of Sabah DAP chairman, Jimmy Wong’s native certificate.
Bosi said this when asked to comment on the recent claims by ex-Native Court representatives that they have assisted the government to issue documents to foreigners.
Bosi questioned state Local Government and Housing Minister Hajiji Mohd Noor on what he intended to do with the ex-Native Court representatives such as Hayang Andawai who have been stripped off their position for their actions.
“Sabah DAP wants to ask Hajiji Mohd Noor why he and Samsudin Yahya of Sekong are so eager to “finish off” YB Jimmy Wong with his native certificate.
“Between Jimmy Wong’s native certificate and foreigners getting the MyKads, we feel the latter is more serious and an act of treason,
“We like to know where is Hajiji’s conscience on this matter? Hajiji is very much involved as the native court representatives are appointed by his ministry, ” he said.
Bosi alleged that Hajiji had himself assisted foreigners through his native court representatives to get hold of documents and become citizens and voters.
“We therefore ask Hajiji to own up and be a responsible leader by resigning as Minister of Local Government and Housing.” he said.
More Pakistanis, Bangladeshis too On the royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to addess the high rise of legalised illegal immigrants in the state, Bosi said DAP wanted the government to come clean with the people.
“We want the Sabah government to tell the people if it will push the federal government to establish a RCI to investigate how Sabah’s population had almost tripled in less than two decades,” he said.
Reiterating that the illegal immigrants problem is the “mother of all problems”, Bosi, a veterinarian doctor, said the issue impacted every Sabahan and is now spreading to Peninsular Malaysia.
Sabahans in general have explained that the ‘takeover’ of their state from the Christian Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) government in 1994 was made possible by the absorption of thousands of foreigners, mostly Muslims from neighbouring countries, into the electoral rolls and this has now also impacted on the older Muslim community in Sabah.
They point to a large presence of foreigners such as Filipinos and Indonesians and now even Pakistanis and Bangladeshis in the state when there were a mere handful of the latter in Sabah just a few years ago.
“The Semporna Bajau have openly expressed their unhappiness with the recent registration exercise for about 40,000 people for late birth certificates by the National Registration Department (NRD),” said Bosi.
Bajaus unhappy While two Umno leaders have disagreed with each other on the registration exercise, the Semporna Bajaus are adamant that foreigners are getting the birth certificates despite assurances to the contrary by the authorities and government leaders and have even lodged a police report on the matter.
“Why is the Muslim community rising openly against foreigners getting citizenship? It is all about survival. The genuine Muslims now find that they have to compete with these so-called new bumiputera who are more aggressive, highly motivated and hardworking,” said Bosi.
“The “new bumiputera” has successfully anchored itself in Sabah, taking over all the small and medium businesses such as taxi, bus and stalls from the locals.
“They have also procured land and are going into farming supplying chicken, meat, vegetables and fruits. They have also successfully secured jobs in the civil services, political parties and elected into offices,” he said.
Allegations that the children of foreigners are getting scholarships and loans at the expense of the genuine locals have been rife for years.
According to recent reports, many ‘new Malaysians’ have have successfully migrated to other parts of the country and the recent revelation of the presence of a 1,000-strong Suluk community in Johor is held up as proof of this.