KOTA KINABALU 30/01/2013: The Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) investigating the illegal immigrants problem in Sabah was yesterday told that 446,219 such individuals were deported from the state between 1990 and Monday.
Federal Special Taskforce for Sabah and Labuan director Datuk Suhaimi Mohd Salleh said they comprised Filipinos, Indonesians and other nationalities.
The fifth witness, who was recalled to testify at today’s proceedings which entered its sixth day, said that in January this year alone 879 illegal immigrants were deported to their countries of origin.
To a question by conducting officer Manoj Kurup, the witness said that as of yesterday, 3,741 illegal immigrants from the Philippines, Indonesia and other nationalities were being held in three temporary detention centres (TDCs) under the supervision of the taskforce.
There were 1,899 detainees in Papar, 683 in Sibuga and 1,159 in Tawau, he added.
Suhami also said that RM72 million had been spent by the taskforce for the placement schemes in the state since 1990 to date.
He was asked to clarify the role of the special taskforce, whose responsibilities included the registration of foreigners entering Sabah and Labuan.
He responded that the taskforce also had the power to detain and arrest illegal immigrants without any documents, while the deportation was carried out by the Malaysian Immigration Department.
The taskforce was also responsible for issuing census certificates, which could be used to apply for IMM-13 temporary cards, to Filipino civil war refugees in the placement schemes, he said.
- Meanwhile, Pakistan national Parvez Khan Hussein Khan testified that he had paid RM330 to his friend named ‘Ikram’ to obtain an identity card (IC).
- The witness, who came to Sabah in 1992 and married a Sabahan, admitted that he faced problems with his blue IC as it was not from the JPN.
- Parvez Khan, who was already married in Pakistan at the time, also agreed that the IC’s date of issue was 1985, which was prior to his entry into Sabah, and his birthplace was stated as Tawau.
- The self-employed witness said the JPN seized his blue IC in 2011 during an interview.
The 31st witness, Nur Mohd Ibrahim, born in Tamil Nadu, India, testified that he applied for an IC by himself without help from anyone.
He said he came to Sabah on March 25, 1981, and obtained a blue IC in 1987 after applying for it twice, supported by a statutory declaration.
However, the witness could not recall who signed the statutory declaration in which his place of birth was stated as Kinarut, Sabah.
He admitted to conducting officer Jamil Aripin that the place of birth stated in the statutory declaration was false.
Jamil: Because you agree the statutory declaration was false, so your application to JPN was also false. Do you agree that JPN does not know where you were born because you don’t have a Malaysian birth certificate?
Nur Mohd: Yes, I agree.
The inquiry, before a five-member panel chaired by former chief judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Steve Shim Lip Kiong, resumes today.