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.

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