Monday, July 28, 2008

The FCAS wants the illegals to stay

The president of the Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS),Datuk Sari Nuar (what a name for a Chinese!) led a troop of his committee members to meet the Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman, and handed in the 16 resolutions adopted at the FCAS Annual General Meeting 2008 last week.

Two resolutions amongst the 16 were highlighted in headlines of all local news papers,the 2 resolutions are namely:
  • To legalise the illegal immigrants in Sabah,and further more award them permanent resident status if they do not have any criminal records after staying 15 years in Sabah
  • To reconsider the state cabinet's decision to shelf the coal-fired power plant project but to choose Sandakan as the new site for the power plant.

The reactions from the Sabah public is phenomenal,objections came from all sides and angles,from layman in the street, NGOs, to prominent politicians, all voicing their angers and disgusts over this act by Datuk Sari Nuar and gang.
They raised several questions:
  • Why does the FCAS place higher priority on the illegal immigrants' welfare over the welfare of many Chinese born in Sabah but still can not get permanent stay after 30 to 50 years? When was the last time the FCAS brings the plights of this category of Chinese to the attention of the state government?
  • How to prove an illegal immigrant has lived in Sabah for over 15 years? How can the government keep records on an illegal immigrant but not taking any action and let him move about freely for 15 years? What kind of government is that?Entering our country illegally is an criminal act itself,how on earth can you say that he has no criminal records?
  • Without criminal records does not mean that an illegal immigrant did not commit any crime before, he may be smart enough to escape the law enforcement officers.Only the dumb ones were caught,but the smart and dangerous ones escaped.Since they do not have valid travel documents,they can change their identities any time (much easier than you changing your user names on the Internet)hence it is extremely difficult if not impossible to trace them.
  • Business owners are worried about their profit margins if they can no longer make use of the cheap labour provided by the illegal immigrants,but aren't they worried even a little bit about the safety of their families and younger generations?
  • Sabah cabinet shelved the coal-fired power plant project based on the advice of experts.Now the FCAS invited the so-called experts from local universities to hold a dialogue with public to explain it is environment friendly to use the coal-fried power plant, does it mean that these experts are better informed that those engaged by the cabinet?
  • In the United Kingdom,even with 50 years of experience of using coal-fired power plants,they are also not going to build more new plants based on this technology, read report....Why is the eagerness of the FCAS to rush into this not yet proven safe technology? The UK needs more energy than us,don't they?
  • If the plant will cause health hazards to the Lahad Datu residents,won't it cause the same level of harm to the Sandakan residents? Or is it because the lives of the Sandakan residents are less valuable than that of the Lahad Datu residents?
  • Again they wanted to know what personal gains from this project will the members of the FCAS council receive?
  • Several branches/affiliates of the FCAS claimed there were only 12 resolutions adopted during the said AGM,not 16 as claimed by Datuk Sari and friends.The illegal immigrants and the coal-fired power plants issues were definitely not among them.

Caught off guard by the strong reactions from the Chinese community,Datuk Sari quickly changed his story. He said the 4 additional resolutions were result of the decision of the FCAS central committee and the Sabah United Chinese Chamber of Commerce (SUCCC) to include them.
Also the actual intention of the resolutions was to urge the state government to consider legalising the immigrants who manage to find jobs here, and not to consider granting them permanent residence as reported in the media.If he is not treating us Sabahans as idiots and telling the truth,it really makes one wonders of what academic standard is the person who wrote the resolutions which were so misleading that required someone else to interpret it correctly.Why can't the FCAS find someone competent enough to handle such important job?
Meanwhile some of the FCAS committee members who happened to be committee members of SUCCC also started a scruple with rivalling committee members in the same organisation over the 6-year old issue of the legal status of SUCCC committee in an effort to divert the public attention.
Many amongst the Chinese community have long questioned whether to let the FCAS to represent them is appropriate.In reality they only represent a handful of traders,not the ordinary Chinese who has nothing to do with trading.This handful of people should confine their activities in the SUCCC and not have double roles in the FCAS also.By right the leaders of FCAS should be professionals elected from the various dialect clans and surname clans and not those who only care about profit margins.
But the biggest pity is why after all these years, the local Chinese community can not find a leader born locally,if not in Sabah,at least within Malaysia to lead them. I felt very uneasy each time I read his non-Chinese name in the non-Chinese news papers.I wonder whether these papers did it on purpose.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Major crackdown on illegal immigrants soon

Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia,Tan Sri Najib Tun Razak announced that the government will take action to flush out the illegal immigrants living in Sabah.It was flashed across the front pages of all local news papers last month. But the response from the public was cold,they think this is just another round of empty promise from the government on this issue,no difference from many other similar announcements made before over the years.
But this time it is from the Deputy Prime Minister himself, not any low ranking minister like before.No one in Sabah believes he is sincere in his intention,most people think it is just a move to shift public attention from other issues which are sticking to him right now.
Even senior government officers are negative in their opinions.The Assistant Director of the Federal Special Task Force (whose sole duty is to solve the illegal immigrants problems in Sabah) said that the success of this move is very much dependent on the readiness of the verious systems and authorities to tackle the problems.He went on to list out the 5 major reasons why the efforts to solve the illegals problems failed in the past.
He claimed that the FSTF is ready to accommodate more illegals with the setting up of 2 additional temporary detention camps.Reading between the lines,one can feel that he is implying the other authorities are not ready yet.
At the same time the Chief Police Officer of Sabah is afraid that the police force is short of man power.However,he said the police department will try its best to make this exercise a success.Again,one has to read between the lines to catch his real meaning.
If there is one issue that has the same opinion from all the Sabahans,it is the illegal immigrants issue.It has been with us for more than 30 years now.And the government still does not seem to have a clue as how to solve it.
To help solve this problem,we Sabahans need to cooperate with the government by taking the following steps:

(1) Stop renting you house or land to illegal immigrants.Of course,in so doing you will lose some incomes.But think about the safety of your loved ones and family,isn't it more important than money?

(2) Hire locals as far as possible.Do not ever hire any imported worker who does not have any proper travel document and work permit.

(3)Town board workers who are entrusted with the task to dismantle the illegal houses should do the job yourselves and destroy the building materials. Do not be lazy and let the illegals to dismantle the houses and save the materials to rebuild their houses soon after you have left.

(4)Policemen should not accept bribes from illegals when they are caught.If you let them go freely, who knows they may bounce into your children later and hurt them.I mean how do the illegals know they are your children unless you let them wear police uniforms,too.

(5)Hospital staff should not accept bribes for issuing false Sabahan birth certificates to new born babies of illegal immigrants.Otherwise these babies will grow up to be Sabahans legally and fight for job opportunities with your children one day.

(6)Staff of National Registration Department should not accpet bribes for issuing false Sabahan ICs to illegal immigrants. This is equivalent to committing an act of treason,and should be sent to the firing squad.Many of those who obtained their ICs this way may have joined the armed forces and the police.They maybe even entrusted with the duty to round up,to deport the illegal immigrants (their brothers) to their home countries.Won't it be the biggest joke?

(7)Last but not least,do not be a SUPER hypocrite by complaining about the illegal immigrants on one hand, and providing them with employement and shelters on the other.

I really miss those days when I did not have to lock my house and my car. I still remember I brought my wife (then still girl friend)to visit a friend in Kuala Lumpur back in the 70's.We waited for a good 10 minutes outside my friend's house for him to unlock through the series of locks while my wife whispered to me,"why your friend so weird one,locking himself up with so many locks?"
Now I will tease my wife once in a while,"why you so weird one,locking yourself up with so many locks?"