Claiming a menace, group wants bearded Pakistanis deported from Sarawak

YATTSS president James Francis Noew (centre) with other members after handing over of letter to the Immigration director Datuk Ken Leben, March 14, 2019. — Picture courtesy of Lina Soo.
YATTSS president James Francis Noew (centre) with other members after handing over of letter to the Immigration director Datuk Ken Leben, March 14, 2019. — Picture courtesy of Lina Soo.

KUCHING, March 14 — A non-governmental group urged the state Immigration Department to take action against bearded Pakistan nationals in the rural areas of Sarawak.

In a letter to Sarawak Immigration director Datuk Ken Leben, the You are Truly Trusted Society of Sarawak (YATTSS) sought for the Pakistanis to be detained and deported.

They claimed the foreigners to be a security threat to Sarawak and Malaysia, highlighting their personal grooming preferences and attire.

“A large number of them are found in Bau district, opening up shops and going from village to village to sell carpets,” YATTSS president Francis James Noew wrote in the letter.

He claimed the Pakistanis resembled Afghani Talibans and claimed they have opened up more than seven furniture shops in Bau district.

Noew complained that the Pakistanis, who favoured their traditional dress, have also brought in their fellow countrymen to work in these shops.

“What is most worrying is that the presence of these foreigners is posing a threat to our community whenever they enter our homes to sell their products.

“In the course of selling their products from house to house during weekdays, they would take the opportunity to disturb our women and young girls while the men are at home,” he claimed.

He alleged the Pakistanis would leave unsold wares with the villagers in order to persuade them to buy.

“This is a dirty tactic used by these foreigners to sell their carpets,” he said, adding that they would come to the villages daily or every week to persuade the villagers to buy.

“We have received reports about these foreigners harassing the villagers when they did not get any payment,” he said.

Noew also asked the Immigration Department to investigate reports of Pakistanis marrying the local women purportedly to obtain spousal visas.

He said the department must take action against these foreigners because they could use the marriage certificate to stay permanently in Sarawak and spread activities detrimental to the security of the state and country.

He cited the case of an Egyptian, who was arrested in Serian as a suspected terrorist, as an example of foreigners getting married to a local woman.

Noew claimed the villagers in Bau have witnessed some foreigners peddling drugs.

He further asserted the villagers were purportedly told the Pakistanis were given protection by certain persons.

“Therefore, we ask the Immigration Department, state government and all the relevant authorities to stop the entry of Pakistanis to Sarawak, especially in the rural areas and villages,” he said in the letter.

Noew was accompanied by YATTSS committee members and Sarawak Reform Party (STAR) president Lina Soo to the Immigration Department to hand over the letter.