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Get to the Bottom of Pakistani Pass Scandal – Dr. Jeffrey

Kota Kinabalu:    “The Sabah government need to act unflinchingly and uncompromisingly on the on-going social passes given to Pakistanis and to recall and revoke the visit passes of all Pakistanis in Sabah with immediate effect” asked Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief commenting on reports of 5 Pakistanis being jailed after admitting to their offices following the 9 Pakistanis that were arrested with fake social passes in Semporna.

Earlier, 8 Immigration were arrested but it appears that no action has been taken against these errant officers who are traitors to the sovereignty and security of Sabah.   It will be a grave injustice to Sabah and Sabahans if they, especially officers from Malaya, are not charged.

Some sources seem to indicate that the Pakistani social passes is the tip of a scandal waiting to be exposed which also involves another group of Indian muslims with links to politicians and a local curry house and the mis-use of a Sabah leader’s name.

The Technical Committee of Foreign Migrant Management under Tan Sri Pairin should immediately investigate the matter and not just rely on the Immigration Department.   The integrity of the Immigration Department is suspect and it is questionable whether they will punish the crooks within.

The issue is not just punishing the Pakistanis and the culprits involved but to go after the syndicates, links and putting in systems that will prevent future recurrences.  That duty must fall on the Sabah government.

Prior to this, there have been countless complaints of the presence of numerous Pakistanis who do not speak any local language at all running all over Sabah.   There are also many complaints of Pakistanis running retail outlets even in remote interior villages.

It may now be appropriate to make a swoop on all Pakistanis in Sabah and verify the authenticity of their passes.  Jail sentences of 3 months seem inadequate to the seriousness of the damage and the security threats to Sabah and Sabahans.  

In Indonesia, the government bombed to smithereens the fishing vessels of foreign fishermen that encroached into Indonesia waters for fishing sending out a message for future offenders to avoid Indonesian waters.

There is no reason to grant special privileges to Pakistanis with extended social passes when visitors from ASEAN nations are only allowed 30 days in Sabah and 90 days for West Malaysians.

The Sabah government need to set up a dedicated Immigration agency to look into applications and approvals for social passes.     Only with this own agency can the Sabah government monitor the foreign visitors that have landed in Sabah and those who are permitted for extended stays

It should not be the duty of the federal Immigration to approve passes for foreigners to stay in Sabah and revenues from these visitors and passes as well as foreign labour should be the exclusive domain of the Sabah government.

Given the past bitter experiences with illegal immigrants ending up with dubious ICs, MyKads and voting rights, the Sabah government need to take stern and drastic action to clean up the Pakistani passes scandal including against the Immigration officers and the culprits involved and to put in systems to prevent future recurrences.

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