KUALA LUMPUR 2/10/2012: The presence of 889,770 legal and illegal foreigners in Sabah is not a threat to the country or the state's security and order, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.
He said that while national population growth was 2.5% 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 Datuk Seri Wilfred Mojilip Bumburing (Tuaran) on whether the presence of 800,000 foreigners in Sabah posed a threat to national safety and security.
He said the relevant authorities, including police, immigration, national registration and the Chief Minister's department was 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% population growth in 40 years from 648,000 in 1970 to 3,309,700 in 2010.
By MAZWIN NIK ANIS