KOTA KINABALU August 31, 2011: A shortage of staff at the Indonesian Consulate in Sabah has delayed the approval of more than 100,000 applications for passport under the 5P (registration, amnesty, monitoring, enforcement and repatriation) programme.
The Consul General of Indonesia in Kota Kinabalu, Soepeno Sahid said a shortage of staff and logistics problems had caused delays in processing applications for passports since many Indonesian workers were from the interiors and remote areas.
During the 5P programme in Sabah that was held from July 17 to Aug 10, 115,046 illegal immigrants from Indonesia had registered themselves and from the total, 12,000 passport applications had been processed, he said.
“This means there are more than 100,000 applications than need to be processed. My office has 30 staff and on average, we process about 800 applications a day. We have been given two months to complete the exercise (Aug 11 to Oct 10). With the current number of staff, we will not be able to accomplish that task. As such we are seeking additional manpower from Jakarta,” he told reporters at a Hari Raya open house in his residence here yesterday.
He said the Consulate General had taken steps to rope in another 80 staff from Jakarta to help out in the exercise.
Soepeno said there were 217,000 registered Indonesian workers with documents in Sabah since 2008.
Meanwhile, among dignitaries who attended the open house were Sabah Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin and his wife Toh Puan Norlidah R M Jasni, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, his deputy Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan and Kota Kinabalu Mayor Datuk Abidin Madingkir.
“I have applied for extra fundings from our government in Jakarta to cover our logistics and operational costs and have sought another 80 staff to do all the administrative work of issuing the travel documents. They are expected to arrive after the Raya celebration,”
Indonesian consul general in Sabah, Soepeno Sahid