BEAUFORT: The implementation of the Sabah Temporary Pass (PSS) will lead to bigger security issues in the state, warns Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (pic).
The Umno leader, who had previously held the Home Minister and Defence Minister positions under Barisan Nasional administration, cited the 2013 Lahad Datu intrusion by followers of the so-called Sulu Sultanate as a lesson to be remembered.
"That is why if we do not have a mechanism to filter and to structure, things might be too late. I am afraid that a decision not thoroughly detailed will bring an outcome that is dangerous for the people of Sabah.
"This (PSS) is not a small matter. I am speaking as a former home minister and defence minister, someone who had first-hand knowledge of what we went through in Lahad Datu (intrusion)," he told reporters after a ceramah at PDM Kimanis Mandahan (voting centre) on Friday (Jan 10) night.
When asked about Parti Warisan Sabah's claim that the PSS was actually proposed under the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) for immigrants in Sabah, and approved in 2015 during Barisan's time, Hishammuddin said the ruling party was only linking this particular issue to Barisan because Warisan was "feeling the heat".
"Why bring it up now, what is the mileage? Their mindset is still opposition, that is why they can accuse us of many things but they have been in power for two years, why still want to accuse us.
"If this (PSS) is started by Barisan, that would imply for the first time, they are agreeable to what Barisan does, so I would like in return to ask them that," said the Sembrong MP.
When asked if such a pass - which was named the Sabah Resident Pass then - was ever approved, Hishammuddin said he did not know, adding that it was not a simple matter that could be discussed only during the by-election.
Asked whether the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)'s move to release audio recordings allegedly involving former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak would have an impact on Barisan in the upcoming Kimanis by-election, Hishammuddin said they will leave that to the court process.
"But they have to seriously about think the integrity of the MACC and the credibility of the court system, and don't forget the bilateral diplomacy of international level.
"Because who and which international leader will now talk to our Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, as they will be at risk of being taped.
"So for anybody who wants to speak to our premier, now they have to meet face to face - you want to speak to (United States) President Trump, then Dr Mahathir has got to go to America," said Hishammuddin.