Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin has proposed to issue a special foreigner card to solve Sabah’s long-standing illegal immigrant problem.
However, he said the decision should come from the state government instead.
According to The Star, Hamzah claimed the issue of undocumented migrants was a “time bomb” that could trigger more social problems.
“There are many parents and children born without documents but living in Sabah for a long time.”
“We don’t want social problems to gain a foothold in Sabah due to this,” Hamzah said this during the launch of an event in conjunction with the Kaamatan Festival celebration in Sabah on Sunday (15 May).
Meanwhile, Hamzah stressed that the card for foreigners is not aimed at permanent residency or citizenship.
However, the Sabah government had rejected his proposal earlier this year due to political and societal resistance.
Nonetheless, Hamzah said the foreigner’s card will also help in overcoming the labour crisis that is currently happening in various industries and allow for enforcement agencies to weed out criminal elements among undocumented migrants.
In April 2022, the Sabah chapter of Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) claims that it had received multiple reports of syndicates selling fake “foreigner identity card” to these communities.
It was reported that scammers took advantage of foreigners by offering them fake identity or data cards at the price between RM400 to RM2,500.
These scammers claimed that these so-called ‘Kad Pendaftaran Sementara’ or temporary registration cards were part of a government registration system.