KOTA KINABALU: There is no problem with allowing workers from China to return to the state as the Immigration Department has been informed, says Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
He said Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yakob might not have been aware that the matter had been discussed and agreed on with the Immigration Department.
He also said he had asked state secretary Datuk Safar Untong to inform Ismail and also ensure coordination between the state and federal governments.
According to Shafie, the state government gave the greenlight for China's technical and skilled workers to return as many projects undertaken by Chinese investment companies had stalled due to the movement control order (MCO).
He said these companies, which employ large numbers of locals, needed technical expertise from skilled Chinese workers to restart their projects.
Many of these workers had returned to China during the Chinese New Year holidays in February but could not return following the implementation of the MCO on March 18 and the closure of borders.
"I have informed Immigration, and I have asked the state secretary to inform them on this matter.
"I may not have contacted the minister, but the Immigration Department was there and I have asked the state secretary to coordinate with the Federal Government, ” he said after launching Gold, a cooking oil manufactured by state-owned Kumpulan Sawit Kinabalu and Syarikat Intipati Minyak in Sandakan on Saturday (July 4).
"What is important is to solve various problems and this includes getting stalled projects restarted, ” he said.
On Thursday (July 2), Ismail said the the country's borders with China were still closed following the Covid-19 outbreak, adding that Sabah’s move to allow the workers back was done without consultation with him.
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