KOTA KINABALU: Property owners in the state are urged not to rent out their properties, to individuals or companies with dubious background, to prevent them from using the properties to conduct illegal activities.

Urging this, president of the Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) Tan Sri T.C Goh opined that this is necessary and appropriate, so as to safeguard the good image of Sabah, as a premier tourist destination, and to prevent the state from being turned into a ‘crime hub’ by unscrupulous individuals and crime syndicates.

“Owners of both commercial and residential properties should always be extra cautious when renting out their shop lots, houses, apartments and condominiums, either directly or through the agent, although they are covered by the tenancy agreement which prohibits all illegal activities.

“There’s no harm to conduct a proper background check on the tenant before renting out the property, so as to avoid unnecessary troubles later. More importantly, such a stringent practice would discourage criminals and scoundrels from coming into Sabah to conduct illicit activities which would eventually tarnish Sabah’s internationally-acclaimed image as a premier holiday destination,” he said.

He believed there are some property owners who just could care less about the tenant’s background, so long as they get paid, and this is certainly an issue for the policymakers to look into.

Goh who is also the president of the Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) also called on the public, the local Chinese business community especially, to come forward with information of any suspicious activities.

He urged this while congratulating and commending the State Immigration Department for its successful operations in crippling an online scam syndicate here, on November 26.

In the raids conducted in three separate locations around 1Borneo mall, a total of 104 Chinese nationals were nabbed for being part of an online scam syndicate targeting at Chinese nationals. The scammers are believed to have offered fast returns through transactions carried out via WeChat Pay or Chinese banks.

The premises raided in 1Borneo were believed to have functioned as a call-centre equipped with closed-circuit television (CCTV) and keyless room access.

The syndicate’s modus operandi was similar to the one that was operating from a six-storey building in Cyberjaya on Nov 20 where 680 Chinese nationals were nabbed.

“We hope the masterminds or the main culprits who were caught during the operations will be blacklisted and be banned from coming to Sabah again in future. This is to send out a clear and strong message, that Sabah is not safe haven for crime.

“We also call on our visitors from China to respect our law while visiting Malaysia and Sabah, and please do not bring in or conduct any illegal and immoral activities,” urged Goh.

Besides this, he also hoped that the Malaysian police and the Immigration Department would continue to work closely with their China counterparts, in order to better protect the people and the good name of the two nations.-pr/BNN

Tan Sri T.C Goh