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Home » Issuance of ‘foreigner card’ to determine their actual number: “Sabah to have the final say”
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Issuance of ‘foreigner card’ to determine their actual number: “Sabah to have the final say”

“So actually Sabah Government can be said was the first one to pass this law,” Jeffrey (left) said, in response to the suggestion by Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) President Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili (right) to enact the law within 60 days following the passing of the same Bill at Dewan Rakyat recently.

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Government will be given the power to approve the issuance of the proposed foreigner card aimed at keeping tabs on their actual number in the State, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.

He said the Federal Government is ready with the devolution of power to Sabah to address the  longstanding undocumented foreigners issue in the State.

“So this is a check and balance, whereby the Federal Government should only issue the foreigner card after getting the approval from the State Government,” he said, after launching the 12th edition of the Livestock, Aquaculture and Agriculture (LAA Sabah) Exhibition at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC), Friday.

He said the devolution of power would take effect after the State has completed its ongoing registration and digitalisation exercise on  undocumented foreigners.

“This matter has been deliberated at the State Cabinet meeting and the Federal Government has also discussed the matter,” said Jeffrey, who is also Chairman of the Special Committee on Foreign Workers and Undocumented People.

Following that, he said, the Sabah Government would set up a registration of foreigners unit in the Chief Minister’s Department which would have the power to give approval.

“However, the foreigner card will only be issued by the Federal Government after getting the approval from the State Government,” said Jeffrey, who is also State Agriculture and Fisheries Minister.

He said right now they are not going to talk about what the foreigner card would be called as this would  be decided once the registration and digitalisation exercise has been completed.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey said the passing of the Anti-Hopping Law in the Dewan Rakyat recently has been a long time coming. He said Star supported the Bill and would back the call to enact the same law in the Sabah Legislative Assembly.

“The Anti-Hopping Law has (previously in 1988) been passed during the PBS-led State Government.

“So actually Sabah Government can be said was the first one to pass this law,” he said, in response to the suggestion by Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) President Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili to enact the law within 60 days following the passing of the same Bill at Dewan Rakyat recently.

Jeffrey, who was at that time also a PBS member, said the amendment adopted in the Sabah Constitution back then was challenged.He said the High Court declared the Anti-Hop Law as unconstitutional as it went against the freedom of association enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

“So, that is why before the Anti-Hop Law was passed, the constitution has to be amended. Article 10 of the Federal Constitution which provides the freedom of association has now been amended to accommodate the Anti-Hopping Law,” he said.

— Wu Vui Tek

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