LDP: Open P’pine consulate in KK
Both the Federal and State Governments have been urged to convince the Philippines to set up a consulate in Kota Kinabalu to facilitate the issuance of work permits to Filipino nationals in the State. Making the call, LDP Secretary General cum Tanjung Kapor Assemblyman Teo Chee Kang said, “I am supporting the idea of setting up a consulate for Filipinos in Sabah. “Maybe for some reason the Manila Government doesn’t want such a consulate to be set up, but I propose that through diplomatic means, our Malaysian Government could request that Philippine officers come over to Sabah and set up a temporary office to process passport applications from their nationals. “Give them their passports if these people would like to stay and work here. We welcome them, but they must apply for work permits legally.” Speaking while officiating the Tanjung Papat LDP annual general meeting at Equatorial Seafood Restaurant on Sunday, Teo stressed that Filipino workers are needed in Sabah but they must have proper work permits, which would make it easier for the Government to monitor them. Many of the Filipino immigrants in Sabah, he pointed out, fled the civil war in the southern Philippines and the Malaysian Government gave them shelter on humanitarian grounds. “However, the situation there has improved and there is peace in the southern Philippines and they can earn a living there, so these people should return to where they came from,” he said. Teo added: “LDP would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to the Government for setting up the Cabinet Committee on illegal immigrants. “Since Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat’s time until today, when the Party is led by Datuk V.K. Liew, LDP’s stand has been firm, and we fully support the efforts by the Government to resolve once for all this thorny, sensitive and long- I standing problem.” Youth and Sports Minister cum Karamunting Assemblyman Peter Pang En Yin echoed Teo’s sentiments. “The Sabah economy needs these people in our construction and plantation sectors, but they must come in with proper and legal documents so that we can provide them legal work permits to enable them to stay and earn a living in Sabah,” he said.