KUCHING: The Home Ministry can only wait till after the Royal Commission of Inquiry has completed its reports before taking necessary actions to curb the overwhelming number of immigrants in Sabah.
Its deputy minister Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said after the report has been tabled during the next Parliament session in March, only then the Government could draft a plan and his ministry to take action.
“But at the moment we can only wait (for the RCI report),” he told reporters after being asked on the situation where immigrant children outnumber local children, particularly access to medical and education.
At the same time, Wan Junaidi said his ministry was also facing a dilemma where many illegal immigrants did not have any travel documents and thus they could not be deported back to where they came from.
He explained that the immigrants would need their travel documents to be able to enter the borders into their own country. However, some may have disposed of or even hid their documents to avoid being deported back.
“We just cannot because we also had to send them across their (country’s) borders which they would also be required to show their travel documents.
“Because of that, these illegal immigrants had to stay in our country temporarily. The approach we are doing now is to contact the embassies or representatives from the countries where the immigrants are from to discuss in detail on how best we can deport them. Unfortunately this process is very slow although our Government is acting swiftly.
“The Government is spending a lot of money to feed some 300,000 illegal immigrants in custody which could not be deported because they do not have their travel documents,” Wan Junaidi lamented.
He revealed that the Government spent about RM75 per immigrant per day to feed and provide shelter to them at detention centres.
He said he had been having talks with the consulates of neighbouring countries, and lately ministers of Myanmar where many of their immigrants are in the country.
“Even so, the process (of deporting the immigrants) is still slow as we still do not have a proper mechanism,” said Wan Junaidi.
Earlier, Wan Junaidi, who is also Santubong MP, was presenting emergency aid to his constituents.