Saturday, 4 December 2010

'Stop prioritising immigrants, natives need Mykads first!'

By FMT Staff

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah DAP wants the National Registration Department (NRD) to stop prioritising the naturalisation of Muslim migrants from the Philippines, Indonesia, India and Pakistan, and recognise as Malaysian citizens those born in the state before Sept 16, 1963.

Secretary Edwin Bosi said there was a greater urgency to recognise the indigenous peoples and those who born and residing in Sabah and Sarawak before Sept 16, 1963 than giving 'questionable' immigrants their Mykad!

“I call on the NRD to show pity and sympathy for these people. It is unacceptable on the part of NRD to expedite the issuance of Mycards to illegal immigrants," he said.

He said under the Malaysia Agreement, all persons residing in the state prior to 1963 should be accorded automatic citizenship.

“I have seen many Sabahans in the rural areas such as Kemabong (south of Sabah near Tenom) where they continue to hold red identity cards because they do not have birth certificates.

"All you need to do is to see them. The Murut people are genuinely local Sabahans from their way of life and their native language,” said Edwin.

He attributed the rural poverty level in the interior to the numerous residents not being accorded Malaysian citizenships even though they have been in Sabah all their lives.

"They have been deprived of owning lands and other benefits such as social welfare aid, free education and health care.

“They are considered illegals in their own land. They cannot own the lands which they have worked on to earn a living and rid themselves of the poverty cycle," he said, alluding to the latest World Bank Report labelling Sabah as the poorest state in the country.
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The report, which caused much embarrassment to Chief Minister Musa Aman and Barisan Nasional's 16-year old rule, noted that 40% of Malaysia's poor were centred in Sabah.

Bosi said the government could effectively eradicate poverty by quickly processing and approving all land applications made by residents in the rural and remote areas.

“There is a need to reform the government. The people must first make a brave move by voting Pakatan Rakyat in the coming 13th general election.

"We know the problems and we can fix them if the people give Pakatan Rakyat a chance to govern the country, “ he stressed.