By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, May 9: Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) lawmakers want the state government to look into the influx of Middle Eastern immigrants into the state as they are “high-risk group of the terrorist category”.
Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen said he and Bukit Assek assemblywoman Irene Chang had raised the issue on May 2, hoping that Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas would answer in his ministerial speech today.
However, Chong said Uggah did not even touch on the issue during the latter’s speech apart from dismissing it.
“Not only that he said it has passed, when we (Chong and Chang) persisted to demand for answers on the ground that this had been in the debate and that there should be some answers to it, he then tendered his apology to the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) saying that he was not prepared to answer for that,” Chong told reporters at the media room this morning after Uggah’s speech.
Chong said Uggah’s answer was unacceptable and showed that the state government, despite having autonomy on immigration, either had not been taking the issue seriously or had no means to do so.
There had been an influx of Middle East immigrants into the state opening up restaurants, carpet stores and other businesses as mentioned by Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador recently, which some of the suspected terrorists have been using this as their modus operandi in Malaysia and Sarawak, in particular, claimed Chong.
“Some, I’m not saying all of them (Middle Eastern immigrants), are terrorists, but they are in the high-risk group of the terrorist category,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chang, who was also present at the press conference, stressed on the graveness of this issue and urged the state government to take it seriously.
“Unfortunately, this morning, I was expecting an answer from Uggah on what the immigration (department) is doing, but he did not reply. He did not touch on the issue at all.
“When Chong and I stood up to ask for clarifications, he refused to give the floor. He just kept on saying that it has passed,” she lamented. — DayakDaily