Hamzah defends proposed identity card for migrants
Published on: Tuesday February 15, 2022
The government has previously said the proposed ID card would not give migrants citizenship or permanent residency status.
PORT KLANG: Interior Minister Hamzah Zainudin has defended the government’s proposal to issue identity cards to foreigners in Sabah. He said it was time for the problem of migrants in the state to be solved with new solutions. “The problem of foreigners in Sabah has become quite significant and therefore the time has come for us to use new methods to identify who they are,” he told reporters after an event here today.
He said the government could not delay the matter any longer, adding that political will and everyone’s cooperation were needed to ensure the success of the program. Hamzah previously said the proposed ID card would not give migrants citizenship or permanent residency status, but would allow foreign nationals to work legally in Malaysia and their children to go to school. However, the proposal received a strong reaction from leaders on both sides of the political divide as well as influential local leaders such as Joseph Pairin Kitingan who is the Huguan Siou, or paramount chief of the Kadazan Dusun Murut community. Chief Minister Hajiji Noor later said that the document Hamzah mentioned was in fact a proposed ‘kad warga asing’ (foreigner’s card) on which the Sabah government has yet to make a decision.
Commenting further on the matter today, Hamzah said the government’s intention to create the card specifically for foreigners in the state was solely for the benefit of the Sabahans. “It is not in the interest of any individual but only for the people of Sabah, because we want to identify who are (foreigners) residing in Sabah,” he said. He also welcomed suggestions or views from any party to improve the proposal. * Follow us on Instagram and join our Telegram and/or WhatsApp channels for the latest news you don’t want to miss.
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