OUR Chief Minister has vowed to ensure that illegal immigrants do not gain a foothold in the State.
Personally I didn’t realise how serious the problem was until it was highlighted in The Borneo Post that illegal immigrants were muscling in on our fishermen in Miri and also starting settlements there.
Datuk Patinggi Adenan Satem actually openly declared he was irked that the Immigration Department had been informed of the illegal immigrant problem originating from the Philippines last year but failed to act on the information.
He made it very clear that he was not going to allow the problem to get any worse.
“We do not want the problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah to take root in Sarawak. Do not allow a small problem to fester and become difficult to handle later on,” he said clearly.
“I mean business. Don’t mess with me as far as Sarawak’s interest is concerned. I cannot do this alone, so I need your co-operation and you must work together. There should be no shirking of responsibility, no quarrel over turf or jurisdiction. We are in this together.”
Adenan definitely did not mince his words or make excuses for the civil service.
He also pointed out with regret that there were local companies helping illegal immigrants to enter the State for cheap labour.
I am glad to see that steps are being taken to stem the problem before it becomes more serious.
Those of us who have visited Sabah know how serious the problem of illegal immigrants is there and would not wish anything like that to happen in Sarawak.
While we know that foreign workers are necessary in certain industries due to the lack of local labour, they must be documented not only as a security issue but also to ensure the rights of the workers are safeguarded.
Let’s all ensure we do our part to ensure no immigrants are here in the State illegally.
The story from The Borneo Post:
Aliens in Adenan’s cross hairs
By Lim How Phim
KUCHING: Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem vows to go all out to rid the state of illegal immigrants before they become too big a problem to handle, like what is happening in Sabah.
The chief minister said it irked him that the Immigration Department had been informed of the illegal immigrant problem originating from the Philippines since last year but failed to act on it.
He said he had instructed the Immigration Department to take immediate to detain the illegal immigrants and send them home.
“We do not want the problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah to take root in Sarawak. Do not allow a small problem to fester and become difficult to handle later on.”
“I mean business. Don’t mess with me as far as Sarawak’s interest is concerned. I cannot do this alone, so I need your co-operation and you must work together. There should be no shirking of responsibility, no quarrel over turf or jurisdiction. We are in this together,” he said at the state-level International Day of Forests celebration at the State Legislative Assembly Complex here yesterday.
Adenan regretted there were local companies facilitating the illegal immigrants to cross over to the state to use them for cheap labour.
“We must put a stop to this now. I don’t want Sarawak to end up like Sabah, and I mean business for this. We have to take a firm stand now otherwise we have to take desperate stand later on.
“Of course there are women and children involved in the detention centre, but we are doing everything we can to offer them humanitarian aid. Do not think I enjoy doing this sort of thing, but it has to be done. They will be provided with food and drinks, then you deport them, treat them humanely.”
Pointing out there was no room for weak enforcement in his administration, Adenan stressed that the authorities concerned would have to do more to improve. He noted penalty would not be a deterrent when the enforcement was not there.
For instance, he said offenders of drug trafficking, if convicted, would be sentenced to death but some people would still give it a shot perhaps because they were certain they would not be caught.
“But if they are certain to be caught, that is better, and that involves enforcement.”