By DARELL LEIKING
COMMENT: It is hard to understand the nonchalant attitude of Musa Aman, our Chief Minister and his State Cabinet over the now infamous ‘Menumbok-Jesselton Point Loophole’. This is most probably the cause of several incidences of immigration breaches over the years resulting in non-Sabahans traveling in and out of Sabah without any proper checks.
I have asked actually demanded the Home Ministry to explain to us Parliamentarians as to why there are no immigration checkpoints at Menumbok and Jesselton Point jetty back in 2013 at the Dewan Rakyat. Should not there be one at both places to ensure that only those with valid travel documents, or passports, will be allowed to land and pass the guard post or customs checks.
Zahid Hamidi, the Home Minister, in his reply confirmed that there is no necessity for immigration inspection as the Home Minister’s Directive gazetted on July 26, 1984, and the Malaysian Immigration Circular dated July 27, 1984 provides for automatic exemption to anyone (including foreigners) from having to produce his/her valid travel documents or passport when entering Sabah from Labuan.
This matter was subsequently highlighted by me in the media back in March 2015 when Richard Malanjum, the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, questioned the large numbers of Pakistani nationals in the State.
I have specifically pointed it out that this loophole had caused us problems big time, and will continue to do so, unless Musa and his BN Cabinet act immediately to rectify the matter.
Now the Immigration Department believes that the seven (7) Abu Sayyaf members that were recently nabbed by the Bukit Aman SB Counter-Terrorism Division while in the midst of planning to cause terror attacks during the Sea Games closing ceremony and National Day celebration parade have slipped into Kuala Lumpur by using this very same loophole and Musa Sulaiman, its Director, had said that there were previously no immigration checks at the island.
This ‘Menumbok-Jesselton Point’ loopholes clearly portrays the failure on the part of BN Sabah to protect Sabah’s safeguard relating to immigration despite this being one of the important powers that our founding forefathers want us to keep.
Their (Sabah’s founding forefathers) rational is understandable; they do not want the State to be overwhelmed by immigrants from Singapore and Malaya, which in turn will displace the local and genuine Sabahans socially and economically.
Thus, isn’t the failure to rectify this ‘Menumbok-Jesselton Point’ loophole immediately tells us that BN Sabah have no real passion or commitment to safeguard Sabah’s special rights and privileges despite all their assurances to Sabahans through their statements in the media to the extent that they accuse Warisan for only knowing “how to talk while they (BN) prefer to work in silence.
Isn’t it ironic Musa has imposed an entry ban to Sabah on Ambiga Sreenevasan, human rights activist, and Rafizi Ramli, PKR vice President.
Musa imposed the entry ban on popular individuals who strive to make the Federation of Malaysia a better place to stay but he (Musa) is unable to notice the growing existence of Pakistani citizens all around the State until we needed the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak to talk about it.
And now, we have reports stating that Abu Sayyaf elements have entered the State as early as 2015 and Musa is totally oblivious about when and how the group managed to slip in.
My question to Musa and the Cabinet is, ‘between 2015 until now, how many Abu Sayyaf members have entered the State and made their way to Kuala Lumpur because of this ‘Menumbok-Labuan’ loophole? And are these Abu Sayyaf the same people identified by Zahid Hamidi a year ago as being Sulu Commanders in every constituency in Sabah?
And what are the assurances by Musa to Sabahans that he will find and detain Abu Sayyaf members that may still be in State.
• Darell Leiking is Member of Parliament for Penampang and deputy President of Parti Warisan Sabah
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