Federal Govt to grant illegals in Sabah special pass? Fake news, says Kitingan

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Jeffrey.

KOTA KINABALU: An article in a blog which insinuated that the Federal Government is about to grant a special pass to illegal immigrants in Sabah is misleading, says Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.

He characterised the post on the blog which had been making the rounds on social media as malicious.

The article titled "Abah wants to consider giving temporary passes to illegal immigrants" also carried a picture of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Jeffrey holding some sort of framed certificate.

The Sabah STAR president said the image had nothing to do with what was written.

“The Prime Minister was only referring to the situation in the Peninsula, and the temporary pass is nothing like the Sabah temporary card or PSS, which Warisan defended earlier this year, ” Jeffrey said.

“The proposal was to give a temporary pass to stranded illegals who are already in Malaysia to work in oil palm and rubber plantations, allowing them to work for a year or two before they are replaced by legal workers, ” Kitingan said.

It has been reported that the government was considering issuing temporary work permits to illegals in the country to overcome the shortage of foreign workers in the palm oil and rubber industries following the closure of the border.

Muhyiddin said the government was seeking ways to resolve the shortage of foreign workers in these two sectors, especially after Malaysia closed its borders to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Kitingan said Sabah had its own policies on labour and immigration, which the Federal Government could not constitutionally interfere with.

He said in Sabah, the situation was different because the rate of unemployment was high, and therefore giving special working passes to illegal immigrants would be akin to depriving genuine Sabahans of job opportunities.

“The new Sabah government cannot afford to repeat past mistakes.

"Sabahans have made their voices loud and clear that they would not tolerate such nonsense, ” he said.

Kitingan advised the opposition to find a better use of their time and to heed the advice by the King to stop playing politics.

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