Sabah CM says no bid to give citizenship to foreigners who get vaccinated against Covid-19

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor speaks during an interview with Bernama at his office in Kota Kinabalu ahead of Malaysia Day celebrations September 15, 2021. — Bernama pic
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor speaks during an interview with Bernama at his office in Kota Kinabalu ahead of Malaysia Day celebrations September 15, 2021. — Bernama pic

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KOTA KINABALU, Sept 23 — Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said authorities have no intention of offering Malaysian citizenship to encourage the state’s undocumented migrants to come forward for Covid-19 vaccination.

He said this was not being considered despite Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Mohamed Said saying a proposal to give out ICs and citizenship to vaccine recipients in Sabah and Sarawak is under review.

“There is no proposal to give citizenship to illegal immigrants. We will, however, consider it for locals who have yet to receive their documents,” said Hajiji.

“Our priority is to our people first,” he said.

Hajiji was responding to a supplementary question by Kadamaian state assemblyman Datuk Ewon Benedick, who asked about the number of foreigners who have been vaccinated in Sabah and whether the state was planning on issuing any identification to them.

Community Development and People's Wellbeing Minister Shahelmy Yahya earlier said that there were no figures on foreigners who have been vaccinated, but that those without documents would have their names taken down.

He said the Statistics Department estimated that there were 1.94 million foreigners in the state, but the number of those vaccinated was with the state National Security Council.

Recently, it was reported that the Home Ministry would consider giving identity cards or citizenship to vaccine recipients in Sarawak and Sabah if they qualify.

Ismail said the ministry was discussing this with the states’ respective committees on citizenship and foreigners.

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