KOTA KINABALU: No directive was issued by the Federal, Sabah governments to document illegal immigrants in the state, says Home Deputy Minister Datuk Azis Jamman.
Instead, he said that any illegal immigrants who were caught would be detained, charged and deported to their home countries.
“The state government headed by the Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) has no power to grant citizenship status to illegals, and even the registration programme of stateless people (those born to parents of different origins and are undocumented or whose families have lived here for generations) will be fully coordinated by the Immigration Department under the Home Ministry.
“The programme is still at the proposal stage, and if implemented, it will come under the Home Ministry, headed by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin,“ he said in a statement here today.
He was commenting on the issue brought up by Sulaman state assemblyman Datuk Hajiji Mohd Noor about Sabah government’s plan to document illegal immigrants which was going viral on social media.
Azis, who is also Parti Warisan Sabah youth chief said it is likely that Hajiji meant the stateless people in Sabah, namely those who were born and grew up in Sabah and have become third or fourth generation here, whom the Philippines don’t recognise as their own
He said the same problem was also occurring in the Peninsula and was being raised by most Pakatan Harapan MPs in Parliament.
“They need to be given a document by the government so that their numbers can be known,“ he said.
According to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, stateless children whose parents’ origins are unknown need to be documented in order to attend school.
“We are not giving them citizenship, just a document so we have their data and numbers, something that the Umno government before failed to accomplish,“ said Azis. — Bernama