Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Call to plugloopholes before deportation

The Relevant authorities have been urged to first plug whatever loopholes there are in the present system and law, before embarking on a massive exercise to deport illegal - immigrants in Sabah. The call was made here yesterday by Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) Women Chief Melanie Chia who said such an approach is crucial to ensure the Government’s effort in resolving the protracted issue of the presence of these illegal foreigners is effective. She said it is important to also ensure the impending operation would not end up wasting the relevant authorities’ time and taxpayers’ money. Melanie, who is also Assistant Finance Minister, said in a statement in response to doubts expressed by the State Immigration Director Datuk Baharon Talib recently on the effectiveness of caning as a deterrent to deter the influx of illegal immigrants. The Luyang Assemblywoman noted that the revelation by Baharon that some illegal immigrants caught returning to Sabah without valid documents were those who had been caned and deported as many as seven times, clearly indicated that there were loopholes or flaw in the present system and law. “Hence, we urge the relevant authorities to first plug loopholes before embarking on a large.-scale deportation exercise against the illegal immigrants. Otherwise, it would just be a waste of time and money. This is certainly not something that the people of Sabah want to see after having suffered for so many decades,” said Melanie. Besides this, she also took a senior officer of the National Security Council to task over the latter’s recent remarks that local employers were to blame for the presence of a large number of illegal immigrants inSabahas, they prefer to hire ilegals than the locals. “This is absolutely incorrect and unfair to the local employers as no one in his or her right mindset would simply want to hire an illegal to work for them with the full knowledge that it would later bring them a lot of unnecessary trouble including heavy fine and imprisonment, if caught,” Melanie contended.

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