KIMANIS, Jan 14 — With a few days left to the Kimanis by-election on January 18, the issue of the Sabah temporary pass (PSS) is still being hotly debated by the two contending parties.
The state government under the leadership of Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) and the Pakatan Harapan government at the federal level have provided information and explanations on the issue of the pass which Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) are exploiting to garner support in the by-election.
Through their campaign talks, Warisan leaders led by the president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal have explained in detail that the PSS would ensure the safety of Sabah citizens, while pamphlets have also been distributed listing the party’s achievements since Warisan took over Sabah as well as information on the PSS.
In addition, they have also used social media platforms to explain the implementation of the PSS system from June 1 this year to replace three different documents given to long-staying foreigners in Sabah, namely the IMM13, Census certificate, and Kad Burung Burung.
These documents are issued by the Immigration Department, the Sabah Chief Minister’s Office and the National Security Council.
Warisan leaders have explained that the PSS will ensure that records of foreigners in Sabah are centralised and uniform, and it is only valid for three years and have to be renewed at a cost of RM120.
To date, there are 51,645 IMM13 holders, 47,518 Census certificate holders and 36,892 Kad Burung Burung holders in Sabah.
According to Mohd Shafie, the PSS issue has been deliberately politicised by BN to cover their failure to bring development to Sabah, including not providing basic amenities such as water and electricity supply even though it had led the Sabah and Federal Governments for a long time.
“They (BN) said Warisan is a party of illegal immigrants, but they cannot talk about issues of development and schools, because they ruled for 50 years (in Sabah) and they failed,” Mohd Shafie said.
Meanwhile, Warisan candidate in the Kimanis by-election, Datuk Karim Bujang who is also head of the Warisan division here, the opposition should not use the PSS issue as political fodder and urged them to help resolve long-standing problems in Sabah.
“They should give their views and really understand what the PSS is rather than continue to blindly criticise whatever the government is doing,” he told Bernama.
According to political geography lecturer in the Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Heritage, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) , Fadilah Sarbi, Warisan is making efforts to explain the PSS to voters and Sabahans,
“This is being done through their public talks as well as on social media,” she told Bernama.
She added that the Home Ministry has also explained that the PSS is issued in order to determine and monitor the number of foreigners in Sabah. — Bernama