KOTA KINABALU: The Barisan Nasional and opposition in Sabah are united in rejecting the Federal Government's decision to grant permanent resident status to Filipino refugees.
However, there is still no comprehensive proposal on how to solve the long-standing refugee and migrant problem plaguing the state.
Sabah Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) deputy chief Christina Liew backed Chief Minister Datuk Musa Amans statement rejecting the federal decision to grant PR status to the Filipinos.
Musa was responding to Minister in Prime Ministers Department Datuk Mohd Nazri Aziz's recent statement that the Government was issuing PR status to Filipino refugees.
To date, 17,308 of 61,811 Filipino refugees holding immigration visit passes (IMM13) have been granted such status.
Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) secretary-general Datuk Radin Malleh also urged the Government to stop renewing the IMM13 passes for the Filipinos, saying there was no justification for it.
He said the Filipinos should obtain proper travel documents and be employed under immigration laws, otherwise they should be sent back.
Liberal Democratic Party secretary-general Teo Chee Kang said there was no reason for Malaysia to recognise the refugees as it was not a signatory of the refugees convention of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.
The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Organisation (Upko), in supporting Musa, want the federal authorities to work closely with the state on the issue.
Suhakam vice-chairman Tan Sri Simon Sipaun, speaking in his personal capacity, suggested that the refugees be spread across various states to ease the pressure on Sabah.