By Boo Su-Lyn
KOTA KINABALU, May 29 — A Sabahan told the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants here today that she failed to open a bank account in 2007 because her identity card (IC) number had been used by another person in Kuala Lumpur.
Chia Oi Len, a businesswoman who was born in Papar, testified that she could only open an account at Maybank after converting her old IC number to a MyKad.
“They said they could not open an account for me because my old IC number had already been used,” said Chia at the RCI here today.
“They didn’t say who it was. That person was in Cheras, KL,” added the 60-year-old.
Chia, who is working here, also said that she was unable to use an ATM card from her bank account here.
Another witness, Quirrine Jokinol, the chief engineer at the Sabah State Water Department, testified today that his colleagues faced “security threats” upon entering squatter settlements to cut off illegal water supplies.
Quirrine also said that losses of over RM780,244 were incurred from water theft for the past five years in squatter settlements here, Sandakan, Tawau, Lahad Datu and Semporna, many of which housed foreigners.
“We have trouble slapping them with compounds. We can only compound if they have valid ICs,” Quirrine testified.
“Even though we cut off the supplies, people connect them again. We have tried to change the pipe material to steel... but in my experience, theft still happens,” he added.
Lim Yit Tiu, a retired shoe salesman who was born in Indonesia, also testified that he pays a yearly levy of RM1,300 for his IMM13, a special immigration visit pass for refugees, that he received in the 1990s, compared to the RM90 annual fee for refugees.
Lim, who moved to Tawau in the early 1960s with his parents during the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation, said that farmers, however, were charged RM360 annually for the pass.
The inquiry before the five-man panel led by former Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Steve Shim Lip Kiong resumes in the afternoon.