Kota Kinabalu: Both BN component PBS and opposition PKR said the case of a Sabahan Bumiputra being downgraded to that of a Permanent Resident highlights the need for both the State NRD and Immigration to be headed by Sabahans.
Parti Bersatu Sabah Chief Information officer Johnny Mositun said PBS had been calling for Sabahans to lead the two Federal agencies since they would be more familiar with problems affecting the local population.
At the same time, he said PBS had been lodging so many reports to the police and Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) and also included lists of dubious Identity Cards (ICs) issued to illegal immigrants via false Statutory Declarations.
He said PBS is baffled that the National Registration Department could conveniently do so to a genuine citizen but not to illegal immigrants holding MyKads.
“Nothing seems to be done but now we have our own citizen having her citizenship reviewed easily and judging from the news reports her plight was also taken lightly by the NRD,” he said in a statement, Saturday.
Mositun, who is a Deputy Speaker, was commenting on the plight of 78-year-old Yong Lee Hua @ Piang Lin, a Sino-Kadazan who was issued with a red IC with the status of a PR when she replaced her blue IC that she lost in a supermarket in Penampang Baru last year.
It was also reported that when the woman enquired about the mix up she was asked to “apply for Malaysian citizenship”, instead.
This is despite a Sijil Anak Negeri (SAN or Native Certificate) issued on Dec. 5, 1963, verifying Yong’s status as a Sino-Kadazan.
“We find Yong’s case as appalling and unacceptable. It reflects badly on the system of the NRD. To me the information given by Yong should have been sufficient for her to get her original blue IC back,” said Mositun.
He said if it was a case of the NRD playing by the book then “it should not be difficult for the NRD to do the same to review and revoke all the Malaysian ICs that have been issued to illegal immigrants”.
“We want the Government to seriously look into this and rectify the glaring weaknesses in the NRD system urgently to safeguard the interest of Sabahans better,” he said.
Meanwhile, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sabah Deputy Chairperson Christina Liew also said both these posts should be replaced by Sabahans in view of what happened.
She said all Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties should also quit the coalition in protest over the manner in which genuine Malaysians in Sabah are being treated by the Department.
Liew believed what was done to Yong smacked of a hidden agenda as it is common knowledge that illegal immigrants entering Sabah through the back door can easily acquire Malaysian citizenship via the MyKad, IMM13 or PR status through authentic or dubious channels.
According to her, those illegals now in possession of the MyKad are in a privileged position such that they can secure Bumiputra status or apply for or buy NT land in Sabah.
Yong revealed her predicament at a press conference called by Resource Development and Information Technology Assistant Minister, datuk Donald Peter Mojuntin on Thursday.
Liew concurred with Mojuntin that there was no reasonable explanation from the JPN as to why Yong’s citizenship was changed to the status of a PR.
It is understood that applicants for red IC normally have to wait for 9-12 months for the outcome but in Yong’s case it took merely a few months.