Life easier for Sabahans with border-crossing pass facility

KOTA KINABALU: Sabahans living in Pagalungan, which shares a border with Kalimantan in Indonesia, will greatly benefit from the government’s decision to allow people to obtain border-crossing passes from the immigration post in the interior sub-district.

Pensiangan MP Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup noted this will make life easier for the residents who before this had to travel more than 100km to the neighbouring Keningau district to get the passes.

In welcoming the announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Arthur said the move will open up more economic opportunities for the local communities in the area.

“This will also subsequently spur development in Pensiangan,” he said in a press conference in the Nabawan interior district, which comes under the Pensiangan parliamentary constituency, on Saturday (May 21).

Arthur, who is also the Deputy Works Minister, said the upgrading work of the Sapulut-Pagalungan-Pensiangan road, which has been carried out in phases since last year, will further aid progress in the interior area.

Ismail Sabri had on Friday (May 20) said people in Pagalungan in Nabawan will no longer need to travel to Keningau to get their border-crossing pass, as it is now available at the Pagalungan Immigration Control Post.

Speaking during the launch of the Jelajah Aspirasi Keluarga Malaysia programme, he said, in order to ensure the “no wrong door policy”, renewal of the Long-Term Visit Pass and Temporary Working Visit Pass can now be done at all immigration offices in Sabah.

People are constantly travelling between the borders at Pagalungan due to various factors including family ties among communities on both sides of the border.

Sabah Immigration Department director Sitti Saleha Habib Yusof said the border pass, known as the Malaysia-Indonesia Border Crossing Pass or, Pas Menyeberang Sempadan (PMS), costs RM20 and is only for Malaysians living within 30km of the Kalimantan border.