KUCHING, Oct 16 — Sarawak United People’s Party, a component of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), today said it does not agree with any proposal to allow Sabahans to enter the state without any condition.
Its president Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said the party has always remained firm in safeguarding the state’s immigration autonomy, which is non-negotiable.
“Any outsider who wishes to enter Sarawak must always comply with our immigration regulations and procedures, and this also applies to both Malaysians from Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah,” he said when responding to a report attributed to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg.
Speaking in Kota Kinabalu two days ago, Abang Johari had said that such a move to allow Sabahans free entry to Sarawak would need careful study before implementation.
“For Sabahans and Sarawakians, it’s no problem but we have factors we have to consider,” he had said, in a possible allusion to Sabah’s chronic illegal immigrant issue.
“Perhaps one day we would want to relax it. So it’s a bit free flow between Sabah and Sarawak,” Abang Johari was quoted when speaking to reporters after attending a state dinner with his Sabah counterpart Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
Dr Sim, who is also the state Minister of Local Government and Housing, said SUPP will always stand together with Sarawakians to safeguard its immigration autonomy rights.
“All this while GPS leaders including Abang Johari, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing and I have stood firm on safeguarding Sarawak’s immigration rights,” Dr Sim said, adding that the state has never faced much illegal immigrant issue because of the stringent border controls.
“However we must be alert, especially the recent announcement from PH federal government on the issuance of the identification card to 600,000 illegal foreigners in Sabah.
“SUPP hopes that this will not be another repeated ‘Project IC Sabah 2.0’ incident,” Dr Sim said.