Thursday, May 15, 2008


Set up Ministry to tackle illegals, call
Street kids becoming parents of more street kids: MP


A call was made to the Government to set up a Special Affairs Ministry for Sabah and Sarawak to tackle problems concerning illegal immigrants in both states. Tawau Member of Parliament, Datuk Chua Soon Bui, said during the Parliament sitting in Kuala Lumpur recently that it was time to set up such a Ministry to address the longstanding problem of illegal immigrants and find the best mechanism to tackle the issue. Describing issues concerning illegal immigrants as serious problems, Chua said that the setting up of the Ministry would be a long- term solution rather than continuing with the operations by security forces. “I would like to ask the Home Affairs Ministry on its action plan to overcome the illegal immigrants problem, which has long existed in Sabah? They (illegal immigrants) are the mother of all threats in Saba,” she said. “To make matters worse, some of them are holding syndicated MyKad and other dubious documents, and the State Government has drained out all its resources to put a stop to the problem. “Illegal immigrants have long been linked to the rise of crime rates and the spread of contagious diseases in Sabah,” she said. Chua said their presence has also contributed to another social problem, which is the stateless children, where either the mother or father is a foreigner and these young boys and girls are abandoned without any care from adults. “Furthermore, the foreign street kids in Sabah are becoming parents to second generation of street kids. According to statistics, it is estimated that a few thousands of these street kids live in Tawau, not to mention those in other cities in Sabah. The critical issue leads to human misery borne out of such a social environment,” she said. She hoped the new Home Affairs Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, will carry out direct intervention to prevent the further entry of illegal immigrants to Sabah and also conduct operations on illegal immigrants. “The Government must also embark on an immediate action to solve the syndicated MyKad problem and formulate and implement policies on the stateless and street kids before our state is burdened by the illegal immigrants permanently,” she stressed. On another issue, Chua urged the Rural Development Ministry to repair roads in Ulu Kalumpang, some 70 kilometres from Tawau, to solve problem faced by some 500 smallholders involved in oil palm, cocoa, rubber and coconut plantations. “The road condition is very bad and has not been improved since 10 years back. The situation are hampering the smallholders to drive in and harvest their products, and some were forced to abandon their products due to the poor road condition,” she said, adding that it is not just a lost for the smallholders, but also the industry and country’s economy. She also called on the Ministry of Housing and Local Government to find an effective technology to overcome the long overdue problem on rubbish in Tawau. “The cleanliness situation is very serious in Tawau, and I was told that one of the problem faced by the Tawau Municipal Council is the shortage of landfill sites. The situation is so bad that residents of housing estates as well as the town area are forced to bear with the piling rubbish, which is becoming an eyesore,” she said. Chua added that even the drainage system has not been properly maintained since 30 years back. “Tawau needs the assistance and allocations from the Ministry to clear clogged drains and to build more drains and channels to improve drainage. The Ministry administers the livelihood of the people. As such, in line with the Prime Minister’s call for a people-centred service, I appeal to the Minister and the Ministry to visit Tawau personally to see how serious is the condition there which requires handling and solution. “Although each and every Municipal Council enjoys its own autonomy, I hope that the Ministry could monitor and supervise the efficiency of the Tawau Municipal Council in discharging its duties to maintain the cleanliness of Tawau effectively. “I also hope the Ministry could provide the appropriate assistance and allocations for the Tawau Municipal Council to upgrade all areas of its service in the interest of the Tawau people,” she stressed.