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Media statement by Dr. Hiew King Cheu in Kota Kinabalu on Tuesday, 7th June 2011:

Amnesty for Illegal immigrants

The offer of amnesty to illegal immigrants in Malaysia, especially those in Sabah in a plan to ease the labor shortages in the plantation and service sectors was announced by the Home minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein on Monday. The program will start hopefully in July.

He said it is not legalizing them to be citizens but legalizing them to stay and work in Malaysia. This is also a move to stop human trafficking, money laundering, terrorist activities, and drugs problems in Malaysia.

I was shocked to learn that there is such a 'wild plan' to legalize the 2 million illegal immigrants in Malaysia, and most of them are the illegal immigrants who had entered Sabah through the back doors. They are here in a huge group of up to almost 1.5 millions people. These illegals mostly come from the nearby Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, and even as far as Bangladesh. In fact most of them had become Malaysia and formed a strong force of 'new Bumiputera' holding MYcard.

I don't understand the rational behind the move of legalizing these foreigners who quietly came into the state illegally and even became Malaysian to share our state wealth and enjoy our every benefit like hospitals, public transport, land, businesses, welfare and subsidies.

The very important adverse effect is that once the illegal immigrants are being legalized and allow to stay and to work in Malaysia, the tendency that many thousand more illegal immigrants will make use of the amnesty exercise to make way and flood into Sabah openly without fear. Then all the jobs will be grabbed by these people, and there will be no more chance for the locals. What is the different when this is carried out compared with opening our front door to provide free in and free out to foreigners. It will be better to close down the Immigration Department because this department no longer needed.

Just imaging until today the West Malaysians and the Sarawakians still require to seek approval to live in Sabah after 40 years and have their passport chopped with work pass every year. Many people who had stay in Sabah recently cannot have the work pass renewed after being working in Sabah for 30 years and build up a family here. What is happening, are they not better then the foreigners when smuggled into Sabah illegally? Now these illegal Immigrants can walk in our streets chase-up and with work pass given, what is happening to our country?

Sabah BN government is "deaf and dumb" on this issue and why can't they speak out for their fellow Sabahan? Are they afraid of the Federal power or Umno their boss? Are they going to put in more illegal foreigners to make them the Sabahan and become New Bumiputra just for the sake of using them to vote for them? The well being of the local Sabahan is at highest risk now, and not only our basic rights but also our future is in jeopardy.

Why can't the BN government both state and federal level to come up with a smarter plan to cater the problem concerning the illegal immigrants? It is true that their (BN) bad intention has been fully exposed and they are just creating more problems to the people. Why there is no immigration control over these people and what is our enforcement units are doing? The funniest part is that why our neighbors Sarawak and Brunei have no big illegal Immigrants problem, but Sabah just next to them is flooded with illegal immigrants? May be this is done purposely to allow them to come into Sabah under a specific order?

I demand this move of giving the illegal immigrants (PTI) amnesty and to legalize them to live and work in Sabah and Malaysia is to be stopped. A better immigration control and strict legislative measures must be implemented and enforced to restrict their incoming and exploiting the rights of the Sabahan. We still can use them to work for us in our plantations and service industries, provided their presence here are done with strict control, in good order, and properly managed, but the most important issue is that the right and the well being of the locals must be protected at all cost.

* Dr Hiew King Cheu, MP for Kota Kinabalu



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