Sunday, July 13, 2008


ILLEGALS: Don’t try to be a hero, says Hishamuddin


Do not try to be a hero by politicising issues pertaining to illegal immigrants. This was a simple reminder from National Umno Youth Chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein who said that results from properly planned measures were more meaningful and effective. The Education Minister disclosed that the setting-up of a Special Committee to oversee issues concerning illegal immigrants, which is chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Sen Najib Tun Razak, was evident that the Government is serious in tackling this long standing problem in Sabah. Speaking to reporters at a get-together here yesterday, Hishammuddin expressed his confidence in the Committee, believing that it is the best way to overcome problems concerning illegal immigrants in Sabah, which has also become Sabahans’ main concern. Members of the Committee are free from any procedures and have the prerogative to call in any relevant Government agencies to work out strategies in overcoming the problem, according to him. “Through the Committee, we will be able to act effectively and it would be more flexible for us to tackle issues concerning illegal immigrants. “However, we will not deprive the children of foreigners on the right to education. We will provide education for them at the plantation areas, but they will be taught with their respective countries’ education syllabus. “We fear that if they are taught the Malaysian education syllabus, they would not be able to seek employment once they return to their countries of origin,” Hishammuddin said. Currently, there are 72 learning centres throughout Sabah run by the Borneo Child Aid Society, providing education to some 5,500 Indonesian and Filipino children. At least, 109 Indonesian teachers are paid by their Government to teach at the learning centres set up mostly in plantation areas to ensure the foreign labourers’ children are not left behind in terms of education. On another development, Hishammuddin said Umno Youth movement believes the move by the Opposition in handing over the motion of no confidence against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi recently was part of a strategy to divert the people’s attention from the sodomy case involving their de facto leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrãhim, who is also Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor. He is confident the motion would not succeed and in referring to Anwar’s current case, Hishammuddin said it has been the practice of the country’s judicial system since ages ago to be fair and transparent. “The Opposition Party is now worried because their strategy of fishing the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Umno members did not work. “I have been observing Anwar and everyday he tries to find wakil rakyat (people’s representatives). In fact since four months ago, he has no other work but to pursue his dream for a change of Government. And when the new sodomy charge came up, he tries to divert the attention by looking for new strategies,” said Hishammuddin. The motion of no-confidence was handed by the PKR President, Datin Sen Dr Wan Azizah Ismail, who led 14 Members of Parliament from their side, as well as PAS and DAP. Hishammuddin also said Anwar had put Sabah as the centre of attraction to lure BN leaders out of the Coalition. “But I am confident that the BN leaders in Sabah are matured and ‘could see for themselves the development brought by the Coalition for the State. “This is evident through the huge allocation for Sabah for its development, be it education and socio-economic areas, among others,” he said.

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