KOTA KINABALU: Upko hoped native Sabahans holding Permanent Resident (PR) status due to being born outside Sabah prior to the formation of Malaysia will also be considered in the Pakatan Harapan Federal government’s drive to approve citizenship to PR holders age over 60 years.
“We really hope these group of Sabahans who were born before the formation of Malaysia in 1963 outside Sabah where their parents (pure Sabahans) were working will not be forgotten,” said Upko Secretary-General, Datuk Donald Mojuntin.
Upko congratulated the Pakatan Harapan Federal government under the leadership of Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who has pledged to approve citizenship to 60-year-old and above PR holders in the country, he said.
“Upko believes this show the seriousness of Pakatan Harapan in keeping promises made in their election Manifesto,” he said.
Mojuntin said Upko concurred with the criterions namely the PR holders must speak Bahasa Malaysia and have been residing at least 10 years in Malaysia in the past 12 years before their citizenship is approved.
In this respect, Upko suggested that the PR holders must take the oath pledging loyalty to the King and country as well as to uphold the Constitutions and abide by the law.
Having said that, Mojuntin said Upko appealed to the Prime Minister to implement the recalling and reissuance process of all Identification Cards (ICs) issued in Sabah.
“Upko stand firm on this matter, whereby citizenship is only for genuine Sabahans.
“Recalling and reissuing of Sabah ICs was also recommended by the Royal Commission of Inquiry or RCI on Foreign Migrants in Sabah as one of the measures to resolve the problem of illegal immigrants getting IC through the backdoor that has been bugging Sabah for so long.
“Upko holds steadfast to its stand that the recommendation must be implemented,” he said.
Upko was confident that the Federal Government of Pakatan Harapan under Dr Mahathir’s leadership now has the political will to rectify the glaring problem, particularly in 1990s in Sabah, he said.
Towards this end, Upko was ready to do its part and assist the Federal Government in the move to ensure only legitimate citizens in Sabah were issued with IC, he said.-SabahNewsToday