KOTA KINABALU: Deputy Home Minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman (photo) said the Malaysian government’s refusal to repatriate stateless people in Sabah to their home country does not arise as such efforts have long been pursued by the government.
“Some have asked why all these stateless people including IMM13 document holders are not sent back when there is no war in the Philippines? It’s not a question of whether we want to send them back or not. The issue now is that the Philippines refuses to accept them back or do not recognise them as their citizens.
“We want to send them, but once they are there the government of Philippines say they are not their people, so what can we do. This is our problem,” he told reporters when met at a dialogue on legal matters with the Members of Parliament and members of the Sabah State Legislative Assembly here Friday.
Throughout the day, several talks were delivered including on ‘IMM13 Pass Issues’ by Sabah Immigration Department director Datuk Musa Sulaiman and ‘Citizenship Issues’ by Sabah National Registration Department director Datuk Ismail Ahmad
He said the situation became more complex and difficult to resolve when the stateless people got married and had children and their children also do not have identification documents.
He said he was pleased that the Pakatan Harapan government and the Sabah State government led by Parti Warisan for having taken the initiative to organise the dialogue, the outcome of which could be used as a basis for resolving the issue.