Suaram: Halt the crackdown

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 07 Aug 2008

PUTRAJAYA: Human rights group Suaram wants the crackdown on illegal immigrants in Sabah stopped for now.

This is to allow the Government to sort out the actual status and citizenship of some Sabah residents, said its spokesman Eric Paulsen.

“The situation of illegal immigrants in Sabah is more complicated than that in Peninsular Malaysia. This is because unlike Peninsular Malaysia, the illegals may not be Bangladeshis or Nepalis but people from the Philippines or Kalimantan who have resided here for a long time.

“Some of them may not have legal documents but they are citizens here, particularly the street children. So, the Government should not be hasty in cracking down on them,” he told reporters after a 45-minute meeting with Home Ministry officials yesterday.

“We also want a Royal Commission of Inquiry to probe this matter and for an amnesty to be declared,” added Paulsen.

Suaram is representing a coalition of 21 non-governmental groups, including the Amnesty International Malaysia, Tenaganita and Women’s Aid Organisation.

The crackdown is expected to see the deportation of between 100,000 and 150,000 illegal immigrants in the state.

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