By GM THOMAS
KOTA KINABALU: Opposition parties are arranging illegal immigrants to pretend in seeking assistance from various sources, including fake banners purportedly made by Parti Warisan Sabah branches, in getting the MyKad.
De facto Law Minister, Datuk Liew Vui Keong alleged Wednesday this could be part of the opposition leaders’ dirty tricks in their vain hope of trying to win back the rakyat’s support, as they had run out of ideas due to their losses in the last general election (GE14).
“The public mobile service programme is being politicised for the wrong reasons and should not be. It is not a new thing as it had been organised by the previous government as well,” he said in a statement.
Liew claimed that the current opposition leaders were playing up this issue as their ploy to paint the current Warisan-led government in bad light.
“I believe the MyKad issue which has gone viral on the internet is the work of the opposition,” he said when asked to comment by the media on the recent public mobile service programme held at Terminal Batu Sapi recently.
“Warisan is not involved in helping illegal immigrants to get the MyKad. We only organised a public mobile service programme whereby we would go down the ground to meet the people and attend to their grouses including lack of basic amenities,” he explained.
Liew went on saying that they found that there are many people who are still not aware of their citizenship application status despite being granted permanent residence or red identity cards as it is known.
This is where we will assist the people from enquiring from the relevant department on their status, he explained.
“I remember a case where a man, in his late 70s, came and asked me why was his application for citizenship took more than 20 years and still has no news from the government.
“I asked him to produce the letter written to him and the letter in fact, was just asking him to produce his late parents’ documents, which he had kept all these years but because he is illiterate and so were most of his children, he obviously did not know what to do,” he said.
“I took his case and went to the government department and in less than a month, he got his citizenship done,” he said, adding that this is just one of the cases where lots of the people, who being illiterate faced all kinds of disadvantages if they were not to be helped.
Liew further commented that of course news travel fast, and some people had mistakenly thought that he could approve citizenships, which is not true.
“I cannot really blame some of the locals and other migrants for thinking like that as some of them are illiterate and have no proper educational backgrounds.
“Some of them have lived in the country for a very long time in the hope that they can get some forms of recognition from the government,” he said, adding that it could be a dicey situation for the government but they must address the issue regardless they like it or not.
Liew also refuted the claim made by a Tawau Umno youth chief in the local media (Sept 11, 2018), stating that Warisan had organised “political motivated” programmes in schools involving matters related to citizenship.
“This is not true. In fact, a police report had been lodged against those involved in putting up the banner about a ‘Program Khidmat Rakyat’ purportedly organised by Warisan at SMK Titingan,” he said.
Earlier, a photo of the banner stating Parti Warisan Sabah’s former candidate for Apas, Abdul Salip Ejal offering to assist Warisan in matters pertaining to identification documents had gone viral on social media.
Abdul Salip denied putting up the banner and claimed that it was the work of irresponsible quarters with the intention of tarnishing his name and the image of Warisan.