Friday, August 1, 2008


No word on amnesty for illegals: Consul


The Indonesian Consulate here has not received any official notification from the In done sian Consulate in Kota Kinabalu Dodi on whether Indonesian illegal workers in Sabah would be arrested or be given an amnesty. Its Consul here Dodi Karnida Ha said if they were given amnesty, the Indonesians could process their identity documents in Sabah with their birth certificates or outdated passports. They should bring their valid passport to the Immigration Department throughout the State for legalisation, he said. On the other hand, if the Indonesians are flushed out from Sabah, they could process their identity documents in Indonesia and their employers here may later process their applications with the Immigration Department, he added. “After that, they may be allowed to work in the State with the relevant documents and after approval from the relevant Departments,” he told reporters at his office here yesterday. According to Dodi, more than 200 Indonesians have come forward to the liaison office here daily to process their documents since July 28 this year in anticipation of the massive crackdown. Most of them bring along their birth certificate, updated passportl or temporary visit card to get their passport from the Consulate. Some, however, are also renewing1 their passort with a guarantee from their family members, knowing that if they do not refer their passport’ with the Immigration Department here they would be considered illegal immigrants. Dodi expressed the hope that they will go back to Indonesia immediately and process their documents there. Some employers of illegal workers here have not fully paid their wages, he said, adding that the Consulate here has been receiving about three complaints every week from the workers against their employers. “We will meet the employer and then write a letter to the Labour Department here for further action. Although the number of complaints is very low, the matter can be solved completely,” he said. A large number of Indonesians seen queuing up outside the consulate office in Tawau for passport application.


KL grant sought for child care centers Minister wants facility provided in State depts

Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun wants the Federal Government to extend its grant to set up child day care facilities in Government offices to the State. “The Federal Government, through the Welfare Department, has allocated the grant for its departments and agencies to set up a child day care centre in their premises. We therefore hope the Federal Government would extend this financial assistance to the State departments and agencies,” she said. Speaking at the launching of the State Level Breastfeeding Week here yesterday, Azizah said the State Government at the moment does not have any such assistance for its departments and agencies The State Government, she added, does dot have any immediate plans to provide such assistance but added, “I feel it is better for the Federal Government to just extend its grant to Sabah because we are after all, one Government.” According to Azizah, she will be discussing the matter with the Sabah Women Affairs Council and also with the State Government. Azizah also disclosed that despite the grant from the Federal Government, only two Federal Government agencies, namely Putrajaya and the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), have the child day care centre in their premises. “Therefore I urge the other Federal Government agencies and departments to set up the facility as it will make the working mothers there morec productive at work. It will also help reduce their expenses as they need not send their children to a nursery or day care. “By being able to breastfeed their children, the working mothers also need not spend money on buying powered formula,” she stressed, adding that the provision of such a facility applies to all employers not only the Government sector. Mothers are everywhere, not only in the Government sector but also in the private sector, she said and expressed hope that the breastfeeding programme will be supported by everyone especially the Women non-governmental organizatiƧrns in the State, she said. Meanwhile, in conjunction with the week long programme, a senior politician’s mother was awarded with the ‘Tokoh Ibu’ award for having brought up all her children with breast milk. Rosinah @ Ongut Sogondu, 71, is the mother of former Moyog Assemblyman, Philip Lasimbang. She breastfed Philip and his 12 siblings, and even her daughters are doing the same with their children. According to Rosinah, she married at the age of 21 and has 12 surviving children, one son passed away at the age of three. “In the old days, money was tight and it was not easy to get powered formula milk, so breast milk was the best choice for my children,” she said, adding that breast milk is free from impurities, and it was and still is used by villagers to disinfect sore eyes. Rosinah, whose children are all successful and famous in their own right, said she even became a wet nurse for her sister-in-law in the past. “My sister-in-law left the house to plant padi and when her baby started crying, I didn’t spare any though tand just breastfed the child,” she said.


Operations against dogs, rats in City


The City Hall enforcement team caught 22 stray dogs in and around the commercial centre and low cost housing areas in Kepayan. The ongoing operation is carried out under the Registration and Control of Dogs By-Laws 1953, said the City Hall in a statement yesterday. It said rat eradication exercise is also carried out in various places in the State Capital. The operations will be focused on the Central Business District in the City, including Sinsuran and Segama, Kampung Air, Bandaran Beraya, Asia City, Api Api Centre, KK Proper, Port area, foodstalls at Anjung Senja and Anjung Samudra. Areas covered outside the Central Business District include Lido, Tanjung Aru, Kepayan Ridge, Rumah Murah Kepayan, Fob Sang, Landbreeze, Taman Fortuna, Likas Plaza, Likas Square, Juta Plaza, Inanam, Menggatal, Telipok, Taman Putera Jaya, Indah Permai, Kingfisher Park and Taman Sepanggar. Similar operations will also be carried out at all the markets in the State Capital. Meanwhile, another 27 people were fined for litteiing, including discarding cigarette butts in public places in and around the City on Sunday. Twenty three of the litterbugs were fined on the spot, while four other were given a week to settle their compounds.


End of road for illegals as massive blitz set to begin


While Malaysians in Sabah are preparing for the Independence Day celebrations during the month of August, the days are numbered for the illegal immigrants in the State. Today, their “independence” will be over. They will no longer be at liberty to play a cat-and-mouse game with the Malaysian authorities - and stay on in Sabah, untouched. Looming large over the elusive illegal immigrants are the nets of widespread operation to round them up for repatriation. Sabah Deputy Police Commissioner Datuk Abdul Razak Abdul Ghani confirmed yesterday that the first integrated massive operation would be launched in the first week of August. “We will work hand in hand (with other law enforcement agencies) to rid Sabah of illegal immigrants. “Forastart, we will concentrateour operations on the West Coast of Sabah, especially in the State Capital (Kota Kinabalu) before expanding them to the East Coast,” he told Bernama. Abdul Razak said at least 200 personnel from the Police, Army, Immigration Department, National Registration Department and Rela would be deployed at any one time during the operation. “Wehave already prepared ou grOundwork and identified and listed the areas for the operation, including Penampang. “This time, we plan the operation properly so that every illegal immigrant in Sabah is deported to their country of origin,” he said. The major crackdown is made possible by the Federal Government, which responded positively to the incessant demands of late by State politicians and the people who want the problem solved once and for all. In what is seen as a sigh of relief for the more than three million people in Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Sen Najib Razak announced recently that the operation to repatriate between 100,000 and 150,000 illegal immigrants in the State would start in August. The major crackdown, with an allocation of around RM5O million, is to round up all foreign nationals who are without valid documents. All segments of the society, especially the locals have welcomed the move, hoping that the problem besetting the State will soon be a thing of the past. Former Chief Minister Datuk Sen Salleh Said Keruak said the move showed the commitment of the Federal Government to free Sabah of illegal immigrants. “We hope such a move would bring a ray of hope to the people and the State. This time, the Sabah people really want to see a lasting solution to the problem,” he told Bernama. Salleh, ‘who is United Sabah Bajau Organisat’ion (Usbo) President, suggested a similar operation be implemented on a regular basis to achieve the desired result. The Government, however, faces numerous challenges in tackling the issue, and one of which is the fact that many among the deported illegals will find their way back to Sabah because of difficulties in finding jobs in The Philippines. Seen as a goidmine for the illegal immigrants, Sabah is the most strategic and easiest location for them to come, especially those from The Philippines and Indonesia. However, although Sabah is inundated with illegal immigrants, there are still many foreigners who prefer to enter the State legally. “I have been in and out of Sabah for the last 20 years. I have never tried to enter this State illegally. “Whenever I come here, I use my passport and apply for a work pass,” said 38-year-old Mienral Tadlan Bundaon from Sanga-Sanga in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi in the Southern Philippines. He said there is no problem for foreigners to work in Sabah if they come with a proper document. “In fact, for the last two decades, the Malaysian authorities have never disturbed me because I have a work pass. I could go and move freely here and there without any trouble. “All we need to do is to respect the law of this country,” he said when met at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport before boarding a flight home to Clark, near Manila. Asked what he thought of the operation to flush out illegal immigrants in Sabah, Mienral said immigration law is a universally accepted law. “Even Malaysians need to have passports and apply for work passes if they want to visit or work in The Philippines. That’s why I never break the Malaysian immigration law all this while,” he said.


PBS Div Chief may face action over quit call to Pairin


PBS Secretary General Datuk Radin Malleh wants the Party’s Kiulu divisional Chief Sindin Ranggangon to be referred to the disciplinary committee for asking Party President Datuk Sen Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan to step down. “Sindin should be referred to disciplinary committee for breaching Party’s rules and procedures,” said Radin who is also Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister and Melalap Assemblyman. Radin was of opinion that it was unbecoming and uncalled for a divisional chief to comment on leadership succession in the Party. He stressed that it was not for Sindin to decide on leadership matters as that is the prerogative of the Party President and the supreme council to decide. Radin said this when asked to comment on Sindin’s statement yesterday calling for Pairin to step down as it is time for someone with more energy, calibre and charisma to lead the Party. Sindin said the most appropriate person is PBS Deputy President Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili and pointed out that the leadership transition is very important because the performance of the Party under Pairin has been on a slide which is evident from the reduced number of votes and defeat of two PBS candidates in the previous elections. The Kiulu divisional Chief claimed that Pairin’s leadership is no longer relevant and claimed that the Deputy Chief Minister cum Rural Development Minister failed to take into consideration the people’s sensitivity as well as practised favouritism. Sindin also claimed the call for Pairin to step down was a consensus among the Kiulu divisional committee as well as Party members during a recent meeting. Radin in refuting Sindin’s claims of Pairin’s diminishing popularity said: “Pairin still enjoys full support of the Party members and grassroots.” He added there was no hurry for a leadership handover and said: “Dr Max and the others can wait for their time.”


Ex-cop who never fails to honour fallen heroes.


Daniel Lagong has been a familiar face at the Warriors Day ceremony for many years now. In fact the 74—year-old retired Sergeant has never missed the special occasion to pay tribute to all fallen heroes. “It is a day to remember those who sacrificed their lives for us today,” he said. His 36 years with the Police could have given him a sentimental feeling towards the event, but Lagong stressed that it was the fond memories back then that brought him to the memorial monument every year. Head of State Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah, Chief Minister Datuk Sen Musa Aman, Cabinet Ministers, Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim, senior Police and Army officers as well as ex-servicemen paid respects to the fallen heroes with salutes and laying of wreaths at the Ujana Rimba Tropika Bandaraya here yesterday. “I bet they (fallen heroes) are smiling upon us; they must feel very proud that they are still remembered, so for as long as I live, I will not stop coming here and pay my respects,” said Lagong, who is blessed with good health. The father of eight children aged between 29 and 45, and grandfather to 32 young children, however said that none of the young ones had followed his footsteps. “One of my sons nearly became a policeman but he changed his mind and took up another offer instead,” he said. Lagong had driven all the way from Kampung Tebobon Bukit, Menggatal to attend the ceremony. He joined the Police on March 16, 1956 at the age of 22. He was attached to the Criminal Investigation Department, became the Menggatal Officer-in-charge in 1976 and was posted to many locations all over Malaysia. His most unforgettable experience, he said, was his involvement in the confrontation which led to the formation of Malaysia. In 1961, the island of Borneo was divided into four separate states - Kalimantan, Brunei and two British colonies — Sarawak and British North Borneo (later renamed Sabah). As part of its withdrawal from its Southeast Asian colonies, the United Kingdom moved to combine its colonies in Borneo with the Federation of Malaya to form Malaysia. It was sealed on September 16, 1963. For Lagong’s bravery, he was awarded thePingatPangkuanNegara, Pingat Peringatan Malaysia in September 1963, Pingat Perkhidmatan Am andamedal from Queen Elizabeth II for his campaign service. “I will definitely come again next year. This is our chance to remember the fallen heroes’ sacrifices, it is a time to pay respects,” he said.