Kitingan: Preliminary report to include proposed solutions to Sabah’s illegal immigrants problem

KOTA KINABALU: The preliminary report on undocumented foreign workers and foreign nationals in Sabah will be presented to the Cabinet next month.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan who heads a special committee on the issue said the report will include proposed solutions to Sabah’s illegal immigrants problem.

“So far, the committee has met with relevant government agencies and industry players. I can say that the report is about 60% complete,” he said.

“Over the next few weeks, we will canvas opinions from all political parties, including the Opposition, to ensure that this report is accurate, balanced and inclusive,” he said in a statement here Thursday (April 14).

Kitingan, who is also Sabah STAR president, believes that the final solution to the problem should come from Sabahans and local leaders, rather than the Federal Government.

He said the Federal Government’s proposal to issue identity cards to illegal immigrants and foreigners will exacerbate rather than alleviate the problem.

Kitingan said that after the report is accepted and approved by the Cabinet, the Sabah government will present their proposal to the Federal Government, if necessary, and implement the best solution.

“For years, the issue of illegal immigrants has been the ‘mother of all problems’ in Sabah and it has been heavily politicised.

“We need to address it or else we will never be able to move forward because this issue will always be a hindrance to our development as a nation,” he said.