By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, June 24: Movement for Change Sarawak (MoCS) wants the Sarawak government to tackle immigrant issues seriously to prevent the state from suffering the same fate as Sabah, where ‘Project IC’ is alleged to have been rampant.
MoCS chairman Francis Siah also said Sarawak should use all legal means to tighten its vast borders, including putting up fences along the Sarawak-Kalimantan border, to ensure that its security will not be breached.
With that in mind, MoCS has commissioned a research study on immigration issues in Sarawak. The study will be spearheaded by five PhD holders.
“We believe that a serious study on immigrants, legal or otherwise in our homeland, is necessary, urgent and long overdue. This is a priority MoCS project for the year as the issues at hand are pressing and serious, which require the utmost attention of Sarawakians. We cannot pretend that the 950 Pakistanis, as confirmed by the Sarawak Immigration Department director, and possibly another 2,000 Middle Easterners lurking around in our semi-rural districts post no ‘danger’ to us.
“The Egyptian terror suspect, arrested for alleged involvement in IS activities in Serian early this year, is a case in point. He has already indoctrinated his Sarawakian wife to be an Islamic warrior. This is a very serious case. We have reasons to believe that there are more such migrants, some in the guise of students. Sarawakians are vulnerable folks and our homeland is fertile ground for such evil indoctrination,” Siah told a press conference here today.
According to him, MoCS’ initial feedback revealed that many of these migrants were concentrated in Limbang, Mambong, Samarahan, Serian, Betong, Bau and Matang areas.
“Even Julau, and possibility Kapit, is not spared. We have also received reports that these migrants have been going in and out of Sarawak/Kalimantan via lax immigration posts at Tebedu and Serikin. We have also received reports that our border with Brunei is another popular entry point for aliens.
“We understand that Sarawak’s porous border has made it more difficult for our authority to tackle the influx of illegal immigrants. We are also concerned about the main cause of lax enforcement — that is wayward immigration staff who are prepared to sell their soul for a price,” he claimed.
Siah reiterated that MoCS would work closely with all pollical parties, community leaders, civil societies, religious organisations and all those who care for and love Sarawak.
“Immigration is Sarawak autonomy, which must be jealously guarded. We must learn from Sabah and never allow a repeat of ‘Project IC’ to occur here,” he said.
On the other hand, Siah said MoCS welcomed genuine immigrants to Sarawak who are here for work, study or adopt the state as their second home.
“But we have to shut our doors to those out to disrupt the strong bonds shared by our culturally rich and socially cohesive community. Sarawak must remain the heaven that we all care for and love,” he said.
He hoped the study could be completed by the end of this year or by the first quarter of next year.
“Our findings and recommendations will be summited to the Sarawak and federal governments for further actions,” he revealed.
Meanwhile, Siah said MoCS was ready to sponsor a student, preferably a Dayak, who is willing to pursue the matter up to PhD level. — DayakDaily