By ILONA ANDREW
KOTA KINABALU: There are only about 1,000 more Chinese tourists that are still in Sabah as of Feb 23, said Sabah Immigration Department Datuk Dr Muhamad Sade Mohamad Amin.
He stated that almost 250 special passes have been issued to the nationals to extend their stay for another seven days, whilst the rest still have valid visa periods and are allowed to stay and spend their holiday here until the time is up.
“There has never been any entry (of Chinese nationals) since the restrain on Jan 31 so we expect that their numbers would reduce by the end of February, maybe completely,” he said.
He was met by reporters after paying a courtesy visit on Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Shafie Apdal at the State Government Administration Centre (PPKS) here, on Monday.
He however added that there are 4,821 Chinese nationals who are residing in the state since the end of 2019 with long-term passes, comprising 14 different types such as student and work passes.
During the courtesy call, Sade stated that the chief minister has called for more operations to be conducted by the department.
“In 2019, a total of 1,114 operations have been conducted where 1,115 illegal immigrants (PATI) were detained.
“Meanwhile, about 13,000 PATI, mostly Filipinos and Indonesians, were deported to their home countries. These are among the matters that have been discussed (with the chief minister).”