KIMANIS: With polling set for Saturday, Parti Warisan leaders Shafie Apdal and Azis Jamman are still evading the core issues about Pas Sementara Sabah (PSS) and merely playing around with ‘clever’ retorts and platitudes on their campaign rounds.

This was underscored by Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) vice-president, Datuk Johnny Mositun, after visiting the Polling District Centre at Kampung Kinolosodon, Ulu Kimanis, together with former Kimanis MP and Foreign Minister, Datuk Anifah Aman.

“ And even more telling is Azis Jamman who has contradicted his own party ‘boss’ Shafie Apdal. Three days ago Shafie reiterated his assurance that PSS holders will only be allowed to move about in Sabah, but just the day after that Azis, who is Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, said that PSS holders can travel to Peninsular Malaysia but stay than not more than one month. Who are we to believe ?” asked Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) vice-president, Datuk Johnny Mositun.

Mositun said Azis Jamman seemed to have conveniently forgotten that it was he who had proudly broken the news to Sabahans a few months ago about PSS and quoted a figure of 600,000, just as Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had done at another press conference around the same time.

“ But suddenly after a few days, nobody has said anything about that figure of 600,000. Even Shafie has been stressing that only 136,055 PSS cards will be issued, and Azis is also saying this now with no explanation how that figure of 600,000 came out in the first place,” Mositun said.

He also said with anger mounting against PSS both Shafie and Azis were resorting to rhetoric and bombast to avoid giving proper, convincing answers to serious questions.

“ We ask, why three years and renewal indefinitely, and without break. Neither Shafie nor Azis can answer or has answered in two weeks of campaigning. Why can’t they answer? All they will say is it is not an identity card or document to eventual PR or citizenship. How so? What are the legal and constitutional safeguards to prevent this? Neither of them has given a definite answer till now. And about that 600,000 figure, both are acting like they know nothing about it,” Mositun pointed out.

He said both Warisan leaders, unable to give proper explanations to serious points on PSS, were playing up less relevant things about the matter, going to great lengths to show that PSS was actually UMNO/BN’s idea, blaming Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan for propising a Resident Pass, claiming it was recommended by the RCI committee and so on.

“ And Shafie is so proud to say that he himself had suggested this card to be called ‘Pas Sementara Sabah’ or ‘Sabah Temporary Pass’ as opposed to ‘Residence Pass’ proposed by the Committee on Management of Immigrants in Sabah. What material difference would that have made, a mere change in name, when it is the legal and constitutional conditions under which it is issued and what that card can be used for and what it cannot be used for that matter?” Mositun queried.

He said until and unless the Warisan leaders could provideproper answers to these questions PBS, like UMNO and most Sabahans would stand firmly opposed to PSS.

“ And why is Warisan in such a haste to do this at such short notice? We don’t question the desireability of rationalizing things and making it easier for the authorities to track and control the movements of foreigners in Sabah. We also want high-tech and high security documents to replace easily forged ones like now, but not like what PSS is, and why must genuine refugees and illegals be lumped together under one category? After all Immigration Department doesn’t recognize Kad Burung Burung and Sijil Banji, like our Courts, and holders of these two are illegal immigrants. Why should they too be given PSS like IMM13 holders?”he questioned.-pr/BNN