Sunday, March 16, 2014

Security Issues Within the National and Regional Level are Being Neglected

While appreciating the efforts of the Malaysian authorities and of the foreign assistance (on search and rescue) with millions of Malaysians are following closely the news on the mysterious disappearance of MH370, it is to my opinion that several security issues within the national and regional level are being neglected by both the Federal and State Government.

It has been then confirmed by the Interpol that two Iranians boarded the flight MH37O using ‘stolen passports’. Since investigation is still on going relating to this matter, I will not comment further but as a member of parliament from Sabah, I am obliged to correlate this incidence with what our State's current immigration standards.

We have been reading news relating to individuals (who were in the possession of Mykads that depicts them as 'Sabahans') committing serious crimes in the Peninsular Malaysia such as the AmBank's clerk murder case in whereby, the murderer had purportedly used a fake MyKad depicting hims as a Sabahan to get the job as a guard.

The State Government have to acknowledge it that in view that there exist hundred thousands of foreigners in Sabah, surely many of them are in possession of fake MyKads.

These illegal immigrants who are in the possession of fake MyKads and intending to go to other places in Malaysia from Kota Kinabalu using airplanes would have no problem to do so since it is apparent that biometric examination to ensure the authenticity of these identification cards is not being implemented as part of the immigration's standard operating procedure at our airports.

While banks in Malaysia tend to rely on the biometric scanner to ensure the authenticity of any identification card produced to them irrespective of the bearer's color or race, I find it puzzling on the part of the Government to rely only on the jurisdiction and visual inspection of our airports personnels on this matter.

We rarely hear any news nowadays of foreigners in Sabah's airports being arrested for trying to board flights to Kuala Lumpur using fake MyKads but this does not mean that the security level at our airports is getting better.

Being a State that is being overwhelmed by hundred thousands of foreigners, we can infer selling fake MyKads is a lucrative business for these syndicates and so, given the opportunity, they would always try to outsmart our security officers by producing better fake MyKads.

Hence, it is imperative for the Federal and State Government to ensure that all our airports include the biometric examination on MyKads as part of their standard operating procedure.

And while the State Government is in full control and autonomy relating to our immigration and visa issuance, little does most of our Sabahans realize it that there exist loophole relating to the entry of foreigners into our State.

In one of my question in Parliament on whether there is an immigration check for those exiting Labuan to Sabah, it was unfortunate that Home Ministry had confirmed our suspicion that since 26 July 1984, all those entering Sabah through the Federal Territory of Labuan are exempted from producing any travel documents.

With this revelation by the Home Minister, it is a clear slap on the immigration autonomy of Sabah as while we have immigration check at our airports in Sabah, there are no control as to who enters Sabah via Labuan.

The commitment on the part of the State Government (especially the proponents of 20 Points within BN Sabah's component party) to uphold the Malaysian Agreement is now under question when these visitors from Peninsular Malaysia have found a way to circumvent the 'Immigration' clause in the 20 Points by entering Sabah via Menumbok or Kota Kinabalu (Jesselton Port).

There is practically no immigration check point available at Menumbok or Jesselton Port to ensure that all those entering from Labuan to Sabah are recorded and these 2 areas have become the transit points for these visitors to go to other places in Sabah.

Therefore, we can sadly infer now how many foreigners (who were from West Malaysia or elsewhere) have entered Sabah via Labuan and may now be in our beloved State without any record of entry at all.

Thus, it is imperative and within the spirit of Malaysian Agreement for the State Government to set-up immigration check points at Menumbok, Jesseltion Port and all other entry points to Sabah to ensure the Sabahans' rights and privileges within the Federation of Malaysia remains intact.

And failure on the part of the State Government to attend to this matter immediately would only mean that the proponents of 20 Points in BN Sabah is only doing lip service in order to gain support from the people of Sabah.



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