KOTA KINABALU: Some 100 people clad in black held a protest at Lintasan Desoka, adjacent to the city's popular Gaya Street Sunday market here, to call on the Federal Government not to issue the Temporary Sabah Pass (PSS or Pass Sementara Sabah) for "inland foreigners."
Amid the watchful eyes of the police backed by the Light Strike Force (LSF) personnel, Sabah Opposition leaders and supporters called for the protection of the Sabah's indigenous people's rights while raising concerns of illegal immigrant problems on Sunday (Dec 15).
Among those present were Parti Solidari Tanah Airku (Sabah STAR) president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, Parti Bersatu Sabah information chief Datuk Joniston Bangkuai and Sabah Progressive Party president Datuk Yong Teck Lee.
The PSS was announced earlier this year by the Home Ministry as a measure to integrate various groups of foreigners, including Filipino refuges, under one card to resolving Sabah's decades-old migrant problem.
Dr Jeffrey suggested for the Federal Government to issue the temporary pass for one year and not for three years.
He said the pass should only be given to the holders of Surat Burung-Burung and Census letter, not the 1970s Filipino refugees who are currently holding an Immigration Department stay pass called IMM13.
"The refugees are already properly documented and we believe their numbers have shrunk over the years," he added.
Yong, who is a Sabah former chief minister, said that the Government must adhere to the country's immigration laws.
Joniston urged the Federal Government to crack down on illegal immigrants in the state before implementing the PSS.
"If necessary, Malaysia should seek international party intervention to resolve the problem'" he added.
Kota Kinabalu City police chief Asst Comm Habibi Majinji said the protests were peaceful and that there were no untoward incidents.