Friday, July 4, 2008


Sabah leaders against giving PR status to Filipinos


Sabah leaders are against the proposal to give Filipinos who have stayed in Malaysia for some time permanent resident (PR) status. Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Yong Teck Lee said the Philippine Government should not make such a proposal, but instead cooperate in resolving the problem by taking them back. “Both countries should discuss to finds ways to resolve the problem,” he said in response to a statement by Philippine Migrant Affairs Assistant Secretary Esteban Conejos that Filipinos in Sabah be given PR status. Yong described the proposal by the Philippine Government as shirking its responsibility to the 200,000 Filipinos working in Sabah’s plantation and construction sectors. He urged the Malaysian Government to take an aggressive approach to the problem and not wait for the Philippine Government to act. Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Bersatu (UPKO) Deputy President Datuk Wilfred Bumburing said the Party was also against the proposal to give PR status to Filipinos. “Even those from Peninsular Malaysia are not given automatic residence. The Government must be careful in this and must protect the local population.” Bumburing proposed that illegal immigrants, including those with the IMM13 document, be deported home. 1MM13 is a document issued by the Immigration Department allowing Filipino refugees temporary stay in Sabah. Former Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said the Government should firstly consider the interest of locals before giving PR status to foreigners. “Foreigners who apply for PR status must meet the stipulated conditions. There must not be automatic issuance or flexibility in this,” he said. Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) President Datuk VK Liew is also against Manila’s proposal on the PR status. “Length of stay in the country is not an automatic qualification for an applicant of PR. All applications must satisfy the requirements laid down by our laws. Those who come to Sabah illegally must be deported to their country of origin without delay,” he said. - Bernama

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