KOTA KINABALU, Oct 20, 2015:

With most of the wish list checked, the state’s former Chief Minister Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee is hoping the government will also allow Sabah ICs (identification card) to be issued to genuine Sabahans.

Believing that it would then be able to safeguard Sabah’s citizenship status from being illegally obtained, Yong, who is also Sabah Progressive Party president, said the Sabah IC would enable the state government to filter out any dubious MyKads through a stringent process that would require applicants to provide relevant proof of their birth status.

“This (large presence of illegal immigrants with ICs) is a very old problem and we have been discussing how to solve it many times.

”The process will also inadvertently deter disingenuous applications for the state’s citizenship,” he was quoted by The Borneo Post.

Yong, who led about 100 concerned citizens at the Sorak (Solidariti Rakyat) Black Sunday 3.0 peaceful gathering, over the weekend, said the government needed to take holistic action when dealing with issues related to illegal immigrants in Sabah.

“Sabah must also self-help with the materialisation of Sabah IC. It is not a new citizenship document, but rather a legal and constitutional document.

”Besides, there is nothing in the Malaysian or Sabah constitution or law that prevents any state from issuing IC to its people in the state,” the East Malaysian daily reported him as saying.

Yong said the Sabah IC issue was also raised during the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants issue in Sabah and the proposal had been submitted to the RCI Technical Committee afterwards.

“We believe that eventually we will win this argument. Eventually, the state and Malaysian governments will reluctantly agree to it, in the same way that they have agreed now to autonomy and Borneonisation.

“In the past, they will completely refuse and perceive it as a move to secede from Malaysia,” said Yong.

He said people were getting angrier towards the government for the inaction on issues related to the issuance of Sabah IC and the immigration problems affecting the state.

“We see the issuance of fake ICs to non-qualified Malaysians and Sabahans is still happening,” The Borneo Post quoted him as saying.

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