SANDAKAN: Sabah Progressive Party president Datuk Yong Teck Lee (pic) has urged Sandakan voters to reject the federal and state government's policy to recognise illegal immigrants in Sabah.
"The people should reject this policy that will grant valid documents to illegal immigrants and to stateless children, which will allow them to eventually become Malaysian citizens and gain first-class citizenship status in Sabah," said Yong.
He also called for locals to send a clear message to the government that the people disagree with the proposal to address the influx of fleeing immigrants from neighbouring countries by placing them on "island settlements".
"The islands will become a hotbed of cross-border criminals and potential terrorists," he said in a statement on Wednesday (May 8).
At the same time, Yong claimed Sabahans were shocked over Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim revelation that the government has a policy to issue legal papers to illegal immigrants in the state.
He also pointed out that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail had hinted that there are plans to recognise stateless foreigners in Sabah.
On Tuesday (May 7), Anwar was quoted as saying that the position of the government on the issue of stateless people and migrants was clear, adding that they should be given proper papers.
Last Sunday (May 5), Dr Wan Azizah was quoted saying that the government must find ways to integrate stateless children to society as they have nowhere else to go.
"DAP leaders – all of whom have swarmed Sandakan in the last three weeks – are strangely silent on this issue. At gatherings all over Sandakan, the DAP leaders have spoken on many things except illegal immigrants in Sabah," Yong added.
"We have to look after them because of their future. They are not going anywhere. They need education and a source of livelihood. They need basic skills and training so that they can be more productive in our society," Dr Wan Azizah was quoted as saying.