By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Oct 17: The tragic case of Bernard Then Ted Fen who was beheaded in Sabah should serve as a cautionary example for the Sarawak government about the risks of implementing an “open border policy”.
Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) is of the view that implementing such a policy with Sabah will result in the entry of undesired personalities via the latter.
“There is a worrying sight in Sabah at the moment with the presence of about 660,000 illegal immigrants in which the federal government intends to issue a special pass to them to live in Sabah.
“It is a known fact that foreigners can obtain MyKad easily in Sabah and these people can easily slip into Sarawak.
“(Sabah and Sarawak) being not their own homeland, they owe no allegiance to Sabah and Sarawak. In recent years, many were arrested for terrorism and for committing crimes in Sabah and Sarawak and we do not want this to happen to peaceful Sarawak.
“To allow an open door border policy will also see the influx of Malayans, extremists, criminals including terrorists and kidnappers entering Sarawak through Sabah. We should not invite trouble into our own backyard.
“Concerning security matters, our government should be sensitive to ensure past events do not recur. We should not forget the beheading by foreign kidnappers recently of Bernard Then Ted Fen, when he was holidaying in Sandakan, Sabah,” said PBK president Voon Lee Shan at a press conference at his office here today.
According to Voon, even the present tight control over immigration has seen many illegal entries to Sarawak, and implementing an open border policy with Sabah will see an even more serious immigration problem in Sarawak.
“Tight control over immigration and border entry still could not discourage or stop illegal immigrants from entering Sarawak. It is also a worrying sight that those who entered legally can easily overstay here. We do not wish Sarawak to become another Sabah swarmed with problems related to foreigners.
“The presence of about one thousand Suluks and Bajaus from the Philippines settling in Miri in past years had caused uneasiness to fishermen in Miri Division. They are good seafarers and fishermen and our locals seem no match to them.
Voon reminded the present Sarawak government of the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem’s efforts to deport illegal immigrants from the Philippines, and their ties with Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader, Nur Misuari, who is said to have expanded claims on Sabah to include Sarawak.
“The Sarawak government has also to be reminded of the ‘Tawan Sarawak’ agenda by the Pakatan Harapan government to take over the reign of the Sarawak government in the coming Sarawak elections. If this is to happen, Sarawak would likely lose immigration control of the state,” according to Voon.
“In recent years, there are Malayan politicians calling for free or unrestricted entry by Malayans into Sarawak. An open door border policy can make our borders very porous to extremists and criminals to enter Sarawak. We do not welcome extremists and criminals into Sarawak and it is for this reason, some foreigners and Malayans are still barred from entering Sarawak.”
Meanwhile, Voon also reminded the Sarawak government that even in the European Union, holders of European Union passports, which allow holders to travel in the EU comprising 28 nations, are subject to restrictions of stay within these EU countries.
“They may be allowed long stay but are not allowed to work in the designated country.”
Voon reminded the Sarawak government of the need to tighten or to maintain immigration control to ensure homeland security and public safety. Any slacking in immigration control of foreigners and people from Malaya and Sabah will have great impact not only on te businesses and livelihoods of Sarawakians, but, also on the security of Sarawak.
“Worries will be seen if Sabahans, as proposed by YAB (Chief Minister) CM (Datuk Patinggi) Abang Abdul Rahman Zohari, will be allowed to enter into Sarawak without restrictions or without a passport.
“The Chief Minister is advised not to make any decision in haste because unrestricted entry of people from neighbouring countries and from Sabah can create many economic, social and security problems in Sarawak.
“It is easy to let Sabahans and foreigners to come into Sarawak, but, it would be difficult to evict or deport them once they are settled or create trouble here,” opined Voon. — DayakDaily