KOTA KINABALU, May 24 — The state will hold a townhall meeting on June 2 to seek a consensus on the preliminary report on how to solve the perennial issue of undocumented foreigners in Sabah.
Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan said that the town hall meeting will hopefully get a consensus from other political leaders in attendance.
“We have been having meetings all around. We have concluded almost all discussions except one — perhaps the most sensitive — with political leaders and NGOs.
“We need to get them involved because we need a consensus from them. If they are not involved, they will make noise later so best to get them involved,” he said.
Kitingan, who is the head of the state’s special committee to solve the problem, said that the report has been drafted and will be presented to the state Cabinet after the town hall meeting, where they will hopefully reach a consensus.
Kitingan is in charge of putting together a report after collecting input from enforcement authorities, political leaders, related groups and community leaders on how to best address the issue of undocumented foreigners in the state.
When asked about the suggestion by the Home Ministry on documenting immigrants in Sabah, Kitingan said that any proposal would have to be done with transparency.
“We have to do it right. For Sabahans, whenever we mentioned ‘cards’, they would think of it as giving an identity card.
“We have to be more open-minded; we have to look for a win-win solution whereby everyone will accept it. I believe such suggestions will be accepted by all,” he said.