Tuesday, April 1, 2008


MP urges revival of Special Affairs Ministry


Sepanggar MP Datuk Eric Majimbun has proposed that the Ministry of Special Affairs for Sabah and Sarawak be revived to help look after the interests of the two vast states. I urged the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to seriously consider restoring the Ministry arguing Sabah and Sarawak are too big and need to be given more attention. “These two states are too big; so why not we revive this Ministry again? I think they (Federal Government) need to view this seriously,” he said yesterday. The Ministry was created when Sabah and Sarawak joined Malaya to form Malaysia during the Berjaya era. Its objective was to look after the interests of the two states at the Federal level. Later, the Ministry was put under the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development. “Even though the role of the Rural and Regional Development Ministry is to provide development for the whole country, but overall I see no concentration is given to Sabah and Sarawak,” said Eric. The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) leader also voiced concern over the weak control on the part of the State Government over immigration matters. “The State Government should tighten Immigration controls and practise the autonomy it has over this particular aspect as enshrined in the Constitution,” he said. He added the Government needs to seriously look into claims of immigrants having obtained Mykad documents and Malaysian citizenship status in Sabah. The issue, if left unchecked could pose a great threat to the security and sovereignty of the State and the country, he said. “I know there are a lot of suspected illegal immigrants operating their business in the Inanam open market but we cannot do anything because they have permits and possess genuine Mykad documents. “As a local I think most of us know how to distinguish between locals and foreigners based on their cultures, lifestyles and accents. “Therefore I think it is high time the State Government do something to really scrutinize these suspected foreigners who have obtained genuine Mykads,” Eric pleaded. On the forthcoming visit of the Prime Minister to Sabah, he urged State leaders to highlight to Abdullah the predicament of the Chinese vernacular and mission schools in Sabah which suffer from lack of financial support