KOTA KINABALU: Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (BERSATU) Sabah coordinator, Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor, said the people of Sabah, particularly the indigenous community, mostly are very worried over the illegal immigrant (PATI) issue that are currrently and will be handled by the State Government under the leadership of Parti Warisan Sabah.
He said the announcement made by the Government on the PATI legalisation programme, giving of document to the stateless people, and the latest proposal by Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, to place PATI at islands close to the border, makes the people really anxious.
“What I have voiced out (video of his speech on the PATI issue) that went viral in the social media, is the concern and feeling of the people of Sabah.
“As an elected representative, I was expressing the feeling of the people who are displeased or disagreed with the approaches or proposal undertaken by the Government in dealing with the PATI issue,* he said in a statement today.
Hajiji, who is also ex-Local Government and Housing Minister, said this in response to Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Azis Jamman, who criticised and labelled him as an opposition, when a video recording of his speech in Tuaran went viral in the social media.
“If what I had said (in the said video) had to do with a State Government programme that is still at a proposal stage, then it should be discontinued (from implementation) because people of the State object to it and disagree with the approach and the said proposal.
“But, I saw in the social media, so many people (foreigners) coming to see the Commisioner of Oath (JP) including in Tuaran to have their personal document certified for such dealing.
“This is to the extent that there were people so worried by the incident and lodged police reports because they were concerned over the presence of so many foreigners.
“As an elected representative, I have been asked by the people to help voice out their concern to the State Government and Federal Government. Therefore what I have voiced out should not be perceived as an attack on the Warisan State Government as alleged by Azis.
“The State Government should not be worried by this, because I was only expressing the feeling and voices of people at the grassroots. The State Government need to take it positively.
“Why the State Government need to feel offended if the thing is untrue?
“If the policy, programme and approaches to be taken by the government in dealing with the PATI issue, the legalisation and stateless people gets negative response from the people, as it may erode their rights and affect their interests as indigenous people and Malaysian citizens, then it should not be continued,” he said.
According to him, the State Government is supposed to give a priority and focus on developing the economy of the people and the State, instead of on matters like preparing islands close to the border for foreign immigrants and refugees as well as on giving documents to PATI.
Hajiji, who is also Sulaman Assemblyman, also welcomed Azis Jamman assurance that PATI who entered the country illegally, especially in Sabah, if caught will be detained, charged and sent back to their country of origin. -pr/BNN