PETALING JAYA: The issuance of the Sabah Temporary Pass (PSS) to foreign nationals in the state this coming June will not alter their status or serve as a guarantee of citizenship, says the Home Ministry.
"The government wishes to stress that the status of those holding the PSS remain as foreigners and is not a guarantee of an entry permit, temporary resident status or citizenship," the ministry said in a statement on Thursday (Jan 9).
The clarification by the ministry comes in the wake of the PSS being made a hotly debated topic by irresponsible parties through social media with inaccurate information resulting in confusion.
"The ministry wishes to remind all parties to refer to official source and not to be easily swayed by irresponsible parties who are deliberately twisting facts for their own agenda," it said.
The ministry added that the PSS is aimed at standardising the various documents held by foreigners in Sabah, namely the IMM13, Kad Burung-Burung and Sijil Banci issued by three separate agencies.
The ministry also noted that the issuance of the PSS, beginning June 1, will only be done by the Sabah Immigration Department after applications are endorsed by the state government.
The ministry added that cross-checks have been made between the Immigration Department, Sabah Chief Minister's Department and the State Security Council to ensure only genuine applications qualify for the PSS.
"The PSS is a government initiative to tackle the problem of document falsification in Sabah," the ministry said, adding that the PSS will come with several security features for easy identification of foreigners during enforcement operations.
The PSS, the ministry said, will also help authorities to keep better track of foreigners' whereabouts and movement to ensure their data are recorded.
The ministry added that a special task force, comprising representatives from the Sabah Chief Minister's Department,
the State Security Council and several agencies, has been set up to ensure proper implementation and management of the PSS.
The IMM13 were issued to refugees in the 1970s under UNHCR while Kad Burung Burung and Sijil Bancian were issued by the then state government after a census on the transient migrants in the state was conducted.
It is estimated that there are more than 600,000 document holders of IMM13, Kad Burung Burung and Kad Banci certificates in the state.
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