KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan's racial allegations of a "reverse takeover" of Sabah by illegal immigrants after a change in the state government are false and alarmist, says Parti Warisan Sabah.
“Dr Jeffrey has issued a statement claiming that there will be a 'flooding' of illegal immigrants into Sabah,” said its permanent chairman Datuk VK. Liew in a statement on Monday.
This is supposedly because the new Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal is a Bajau-Suluk (the same ethnic group of people in the southern Philippines).
“I want him (Dr Jeffrey) to make a police report immediately, so that the police can start investigating his allegations and determine if there's any truth in what he is saying,” Liew said.
He said those who claim to have started seeing intimidation and harassment from illegal immigrants should also lodge police reports immediately, for the sake of the country.
He said it was unfortunate that Dr Jeffrey, who is Sabah STAR president, was pushing such a distorted and narrow-minded view, calculated to cause fear and anxiety among Sabahans.
Liew said people should not worry about such issues, because since the formation of Malaysia in 1963, Sabah has had chief ministers of various races.
They include Tun Fuad Stephen, Tan Sri Peter Lo, Tun Mustapha Harun, Tan Sri Harris Salleh, Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, Tun Sakaran Dandai, Datuk Yong Teck Lee, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok,
Datuk Seri Osu Sukam, Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat and Tan Sri Musa Aman.
“Hence, Dr Jeffrey’s accusation of a sudden influx of 'new citizens' after Shafie's recent victory has no basis. It is just his imagination,” Liew said.
He said it was a known fact that the new Chief Minister was of Bajau-Suluk descent, but found it strange that no one had made it an issue before this when he was a federal government minister.
He added that Dr Jeffrey had not blamed his brother Pairin for his failure to deal with the illegal immigrant issue for all the years that he was in power as Sabah's Deputy Chief Minister in the former
Barisan Nasional state government.
He said, instead of focusing on racial issues, the Opposition should talk about policies and development of the state.
Apart from Dr Jeffrey, Liew said there were also citizens who were voicing their concern on the illegal immigrant issue.
“The latest involved a man who claimed that illegal immigrants, or those with dubious identities, have started threatening locals in Keningau district (in the interior of Sabah),” he said.
Liew said he had advised the person to go to the nearest police station and report the matter.
I haven’t received any update from this person till now,” he said.
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