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Monday, January 13, 2020

Warisan supporters say PSS a non-issue, but others fear repeat of Project IC

KIMANIS POLLS | The voters in Kimanis have mixed feelings on the implementation of the Sabah Temporary Pass (Pas Sementara Sabah, PSS), which will be rolled out in June.
A straw poll conducted by Malaysiakini found that supporters of the Warisan state government feel PSS is a non-issue, while those objecting it have a deep sense of distrust as they think the government could emulate the previous administration's plan to turn migrants into citizens to serve their political interests.
PSS was announced to replace the IMM13 passes, which were issued to the Filipinos who fled to Sabah in 1970s, the Burung-Burung cards in the 1980s and census certificates in the 1990s. 
Currently, there are 51,645 IMM13 holders, 47,518 census certificate holders and 39,892 Burung-Burung holders. This makes up to 146,055 migrants who qualify to receive the temporary pass.

PSS has evolved into a contentious issue in this semi-rural constituency of 29,644 voters.
Politicians from both sides of the divide have had their say on the implementation of the PSS during the ongoing by-election campaign.  
BN, which is banking on this issue, raised concerns that the pass will be the first step for undeserving migrants to obtain citizenship.
Umno leader Abdul Rahman Dahlan (photourged the voters to give BN victory in the Jan 18 by-election to serve as a reminder to the government on the planned PSS. 
On the other hand, Sabah Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal said he has no say in the issuance of the pass as this would be managed by the Immigration Department and Putrajaya.
On Jan 11, Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said PSS holders would not be granted citizenship.
He added that the PSS would be issued to 136,055 migrants and they would be allowed to work, receive medical treatment and education at private schools.
Muhyiddin said the children of these migrants can apply for the pass and the Immigration Department will make a decision.
Here are some of the voters sharing their views:
Esther Paul, 35-year-old homemaker in Sinuka
I am worried about the future of my five children who are aged between nine months and 15 years.
Esther Paul
I am also worried that the resources and welfare assistance received all along by the locals will be shared by the migrants.
If their populations grow, it will be very difficult for the kampung folk to receive assistance. I oppose the issuance of a temporary identity card.
Eva Dadrie, a 30-year-old nurse in Membakut
I oppose the PSS as I fear this may ultimately become a political tool for the party to retain power, a repeat of the Project IC in the 1990s.
The migrant issues have been here for as long as I could remember. While it is not fair to send them back to their home countries, it is also not fair for taxpayers in Sabah to support them indirectly.
My sister, who works as a staff nurse in the east coast of Sabah, said a migrant sought help from his party over an RM40,000 medical bill.
With PSS, the migrants may share whatever public resources available, including medical service and education, and people in Sabah will not have jobs one day.
They need to pay tax too, as long as they stay in Sabah.
The migrants in Kimanis are okay and not posing a security threat to the locals.
We have to think of a solution to this issue.
Lucia Yocobus, a 50-year-old farmer in Kampung Sinoko
I am against PSS because there are too many migrants. I hope they can be arrested and sent home to their countries of origin.
Lucia Yocobus
It is getting harder for young people to get jobs nowadays.
The young people who go to look for jobs at oil palm estates will lose out to the migrants who are willing to work for RM500 per month. The locals are asking for a monthly wage of RM900.
Wong, a 50-year-old businessperson
I object to PSS and I have no faith in the government dealing with the migrant issues. 
Look at what happened in the 1990s where ICs were issued to serve the political interest of one party.
When politicians say PSS holders will not get citizenship, I am not convinced.
In 1960s, we had 23 percent Chinese population and the figure has reduced to 9.11 percent in 2011. Same happened to the Kadazandusun Murut.
I know for a fact that the people surrounding me are saying a vote for Warisan is a vote for PSS and if Warisan wins, the government will have all the reasons to implement the PSS.
So the question now is, are you voting for multi-million allocations that will come to Kimanis for a short period of three years or do you want to object to the PSS that might pawn the future of your children?
There are lots of migrants in Kimanis, but they just vanished as politicians and police arrived in town for the by-election.
Many fear that they will take away our resources, and even our jobs.
Marob Aladin, a 50-year-old fisherman in Kampung Brunei
I am against PSS. Sabah is the place that we would shed our blood for. How can you allow your place to be intruded?
What if the migrants are given land and what is there left for us in the end?
Marob Aladin
The migrants in Kimanis make a living as farmers, traders and fishermen. 
There are 170 fishermen who use nets, including me. The migrants are allowed to set up bagang or fishing platforms off the coast and they can catch up to 500kg of anchovies.
The Grade A anchovies are priced at RM100 per kg in Kuala Lumpur while Grade B and Grade C are sold at RM40 and RM25 per kg respectively.
There are more than 100 fishing platforms and some are operated by migrants.
The fishermen will leave the small ones alone so that our sea will not run out of fishes.
But, I notice we have lesser fishes nowadays and now, we often have to go further to the deep sea to catch the fish. It is too dangerous.
I am not asking them (migrants) to be sent back as this is not a good idea. I am saying there is a limit to what you can do and what you can't.
Irod Laurince, a 50-year-old farmer in Sinuka
I am a member of the United Progressive People of Kinabalu Organisation (Upko) and I see no issue for the government to give PSS to migrants.
Irod Laurince
My cousin sister is married to a migrant too and they have children and even grandchildren now.
How can we chase them away? They have stayed here for decades and they are not some animal that you can chase out.
Carol Gugkang, a 40-year-old resort manager in Kampung Ovai
I do notice that job opportunities and education resources are shared by the migrants.
My colleague couldn't get his child transferred to another school because the class is already full. This is among the stories that we hear.
Carol Gugkang
I do want the government to prioritise the locals on resources.
However, I have no objection to PSS as I have faith in the government handling the migrant issue.
Husein Aman, a 75-year-old retiree in Kampung Nyaris-Nyaris
I am okay with PSS and sometimes I do sympathise with migrants as they have been in Sabah for decades and some of them are married to Sabahans.
Husein Aman
I think the kampung folk do not care and don't understand about PSS but they recognise the government and want development.
Migrants indeed contribute to the Sabah economy as they fill up the 3D (dangerous, dirty and difficult) job vacancies which the locals are not interested in, and they work at the construction sites, rubber and oil palm estates.
Over time, we will rely on the migrants to take up these jobs as many Sabahans who inherit the agriculture land will have to hire someone to take care of their crops when they get older.
I think the Sabah economy pie is big enough for everyone, including the migrants.  - Mkini

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