Immigrant issues are more than just statistics

The issue of illegal immigrants in Sabah is much more complicated than just quoting statistics, said Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)’s Kota Kinabalu branch chief, Christina Liew.

Speaking during an interview at her office, she said that the issue has been made complicated because many of the illegal immigrants are now made legal.

“They (the federal government) say they can clear the illegal immigrants within six months. It’s quite easy because there are 65,000 of them now in Sabah. But what about many others who have become legal now?” she asked.

She stated that the best way to solve the problem is if the status of Sabahans is thoroughly reviewed to chop down illegal immigrants and those who have become legal.

However, for that to happen, she believes a change in government would first need to take place.

“The only way is if we change the government and then review the status of the people here. It won’t be hard, we need to do a background check and we will know where they come from,” she said.

She emphasized that cases also must be considered based on other aspects.

“There are special cases, if they are now second, third generation, or they have no criminal records, then we will have to see into it,” she said.

She believes it is important to review criminal records of the individuals, as the country should only take in new citizens who can help with nation building.

“This is what first-world countries such as Australia and US do,” she added.

She also stressed that it is important to curb the influx of illegal immigrants  entering the country.

“It’s like gushing blood, you need to stop it very soon, it is a very serious problem,” she said.

“We need to stop them from entering the backdoor way all the time,” she added.

She also suggested a special ministry might need to be set up in order to look into the matter.