DAP: Is Hamzah Sincere About Solving Problem?

KOTA KINABALU: DAP’s Sandakan MP Vivian Wong has questioned if Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin is sincere about solving the illegal immigrant issue in Sabah.

She said this was because he had been making conflicting statements on the issue.

Hamzah had previously stated that the government was fine-tuning a proposal involving the IMM13 but now says there will be no more issuance of the document, said Wong.

“He made a U-turn from what was announced on June 15,” she said, in a statement here today.

“This is unacceptable coming from a minister and this will further the confusion surrounding this issue.”

In parliament yesterday, Hamzah said the government did not intend to issue more IMM13 passes to undocumented people in Sabah.

During his working visit to the state on June15, the minister had proposed the IMM13 as a single document to resolve illegal immigrant and stateless issues in Sabah.

Wong said Hamzah’s statement clearly showed he was way off the mark from the critical issue of immigrants, which has been a long-standing problem in the state.

She also pointed out the government needed to come up with the details on how the IMM13 as a single document could be the solution to such a complex issue.

Wong also questioned why would the IMM13, which is a document to register war refugees who fled southern Philippines almost 40 years ago, still be issued to foreigners today.

“Firstly, is Putrajaya encouraging more illegal immigrants to enter Sabah and stay here through the issuance of IMM13?

“Secondly, what is the guideline as to who among the illegal immigrants are eligible to register?

“Thirdly, will the descendants of IMM13 holders be eligible to become holders of the document themselves.

“(And) will the IMM13 holders be allowed to work in Sabah like permanent residence card holders or will they be considered foreign labourers who will need to pay foreign levy?” Wong asked.