Sabah has not authorised any NGO to issue ‘foreigner identity cards’, says DCM

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Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan said the state government has not authorised any NGO to collect data of foreign workers or stateless foreigners and does not recognise any purported foreigner cards issued by any of them. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan said the state government has not authorised any NGO to collect data of foreign workers or stateless foreigners and does not recognise any purported foreigner cards issued by any of them. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KOTA KINABALU, April 22 — The Sabah government has advised foreigners in the state against giving out personal information to any non-governmental organisations claiming to be “registering” them for official documentation.

After reports emerged of an NGO purportedly registering and selling “foreigner identity cards”, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan said that the state government has not authorised any NGO to collect data of foreign workers or stateless foreigners and does not recognise any purported foreigner cards issued by any of them.

“Foreign workers and stateless foreigners must not be misled by the actions of any NGOs purporting to collect data or issuing foreigner cards, said Kitingan, who is also chairman of the Special Cabinet Committee on Foreign Workers and Undocumented People in the state.

He also advised Sabahan employers not to register their foreign workers with any NGOs.

“Everyone should be aware that the authorised data collection or any foreigner cards issued by any NGOs will not entitle the holder to any benefits, automatic acceptance or recognition by the state government,” he said.

Recent, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) lodged a police report claiming an NGO was selling identity cards to foreigners for between RM500 and RM2,500.

At the same time, the Sabah Immigration Department also said that they received complaints of a false letter being circulated that claimed a Home Ministry “permit entry” issued by the department.

Its director, Sitti Saleha Habib Yussof, said that the department has never issued any directive or letter.

She urged the public not to be cheated by such syndicates pretending to offer documents but instead refer any questions directly to the Immigration Department and lodge a report.

Meanwhile, Kitingan said the special Cabinet committee has already met with various government departments, agencies and industry players, and is still in the process of engaging with the other stakeholders before presenting its preliminary report in mid-May to the Cabinet for approval.

“The special committee is aware of the sentiments and wishes of Sabahans on illegals including the objections to the Pas Sementara Sabah (PSS) proposed by the previous Warisan Plus government to favour illegals, he said.

He said that all the engagement will result in the report which will also present viable solutions to resolve the illegal migrants and stateless community issue, which has been plaguing the state for decades.

“The state government is committed to resolving the illegals problem in Sabah and will enforce the laws applicable and deporting them to their home countries,” he added.

“The special committee has negotiated with the Foreign Ministry to establish a coordination committee on foreigners in Sabah. They will collaborate with the foreign governments to issue travel and identification documents to facilitate the deportation of the illegals from Sabah,” he said.

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