KOTA KINABALU 8/10/2012: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz will be replying to all the questions posed by Tuaran member of parliament Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Bumburing on October 22.
“I have noted the Tuaran member of parliament’s many questions as to the cause of the extraordinary increase in Sabah population. I believe that we have time during the debate and I promise to answer all the questions Yang Berhormat has raised on the 22nd,” Nazri was quoted as saying in the parliamentary sitting’s Hansard.
Nazri said this in reply to Bumburing’s additional question during the parliamentary sitting last week where he refuted the former’s reasoning that the population increase was a ‘natural’ one.
- “We are all aware that Sabah’s population increase is caused by the presence of illegal immigrants in the state and I have the statistics which I will include in my budget speech later. I also would like to point out an issue that is related with the security in Sabah.
- “I would like to ask the government if it realizes that the illegal immigrants’ presence has affected all aspects in Sabah, including the economy. Now the illegal immigrants have taken over the work not only in factories, plantations but also railway and markets.
- “They are now in control but there seems to be no action by the government. They also contribute to 80 per cent of the criminal activities in the state and the government has to spend RM12 million annually to cater to the health needs of the illegal immigrants,” Bumburing stressed.
He also claimed that the security issue in Sabah was worrying and the government should take long-term steps to resolve the problem.
Bumburing was of the opinion that the setting up of the Royal Commission of Inquiry was a concrete step but it seemed that the government was dragging its feet on the matter as it was only done after political pressure.
Last week Nazri said the presence of 889,770 legal and illegal foreigners in Sabah was not a threat to the country or the state’s security and order.
He also said while the national population growth was 2.5 per cent annually, the growth in Sabah was higher.
“The population growth rate is higher in Sabah compared to Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia for several reasons, including the presence of illegal immigrants from neighbouring countries,” he said in response to a question by Bumburing on whether the presence of 800,000 foreigners in Sabah posed a threat to national safety and security.
He said the relevant authorities, including the police, immigration, national registration and the Chief Minister’s Department were constantly monitoring the situation.
On June 1, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced the setting up of the RCI to investigate the long-standing problems related to illegal immigrants in Sabah, as the government was committed to resolving the issue.
Sabah reportedly has more than half a million illegal immigrants, mostly Filipinos and Indonesians.
Due to the influx of immigrants since the late 1960s, the state recorded a 410 per cent population growth in 40 years from 648,000 in 1970 to 3,309,700 in 2010.