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Saturday, November 30, 2019

Descendants of Filipino migrants pose a problem, says deputy home minister

The Sabah government intends to issue the Temporary Sabah Pass (PSS) to 136,055 immigrants holding the IMM13, Surat Burung-Burung and Census letters.
KOTA KINABALU: The home ministry said today that only the descendants of Filipino refugees holding the IMM13 papers, Surat Burung-burung and the Census letters face possible repatriation.
According to Deputy Home Minister Azis Jamman, many descendants of the migrants, of the second and fourth generations, do not have any proper documents.
Azis said the Philippines would only accept them if they had papers to show. He accused the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government for leaving the Filipino descendants stateless.
Azis Jamman.
“If we are able to prove they have documents, the Philippines would accept them. They do not have passports, birth certificates … nothing.
“When we asked if they had families back in the Philippines, they said they didn’t know.
“I would like to clarify that I never said the Philippines government does not want to take back their citizens.
“They will accept them if these people can produce documents issued by their own government,” he told reporters after opening the Sepanggar parliamentary satellite office in Inanam here.
Yesterday, Sabah opposition chief Jeffrey Kitingan said it was inconceivable that the Philippines would not want to accept back its own citizens.
However, Azis said Kitingan had twisted his statements. He reiterated Putrajaya’s commitment to resolve the illegal immigrant problem in the state.
He blamed the BN government in power from 2013 to May 2018 had not done anything to solve the problem, but party.officials, now in opposition, was attacking the Pakatan Harapan government for trying to resolve the problem now.
The PH-led federal government had proposed the implementation of the Temporary Sabah Card or Pas Sementara Sabah (PSS) from June 1 next year but this move was opposed by a number of opposition parties in Sabah.
The government plans to issue the PSS to 136,055 immigrants holding the IMM13, Surat Burung-Burung and Census letters.
Azis said the PSS is also one of the ways to prevent syndicates producing fake documents for sale to illegal immigrants.
On another development, Azis hit out at Parti Bersatu Sabah which stated that it is now contemplating legal action to stop the implementation of the PSS.
He said: “By all means, please (go ahead).”
Azis, who is MP for Sepanggar, said most of the attacks by the opposition stemmed from their lack of awareness and understanding of the issue, as well as to gain political mileage.
“I have said in Parliament that there will be a consultation on the PSS and all the MPs and leaders will be invited to listen. If they are unhappy with it, they can voice their concerns there.
Azis said the proposed PSS was the brainchild of the previous BN government which the current Pakatan Harapan government was trying to implement. - FMT

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