This is another case of a local Sabahan born Malaysian but given a Permanent Resident (PR) status by the National Registration Department (NRD) instead of being a true citizen of Malaysia. The case was highlighted SAPP Deputy President Datuk Eric Majimbun. Read the story below.

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Another case of Sabahan given PR is exposed

Kota Kinabalu: Another case of a Sabahan native given Permanent Resident (PR) status by the National Registration Department (NRD) has come to light, this time exposed by the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP).

The disclosure Saturday came on the heels of the first case which was raised by Upko last week involving 78-year-old Penampang resident Yong Lee Hua who lost her identity card (IC) which stated she was a Malaysian citizen. The latest case, brought up by SAPP Deputy President Datuk Eric Majimbun, has to do with 60-year-old Thien Kau Pah B Kian Kim, who was issued a PR IC card even though he was born and has been living in Sabah from pre-independence days.

"Thien came to my house after he read in the newspaper about me going to hold a press conference today. Everyone including in Thien's village, Kg Melaka along Jalan Kionsom, knows him as having been living here since then but he is still holding a PR IC," he said.

Eric, who is also Sepanggar MP, said Thien had informed him that he had tried to request for a change to his status when switching from the previous blue IC to MyKad but was not entertained.

Thien had been classified as a Permanent Resident even in his previous IC.

By continuing to hold the PR IC, he said Thien, who is a Sino-Dusun, has been denied his right to vote like other citizens.

"This and the other one as highlighted in the media through Upko are not the only such cases as I remember while I was serving as the Kota Kinabalu District Chief and Chief Judge of the Native Court, we had many local natives who came to us with similar problems. I handled many such cases then," said Eric.

He said these people were referred to the relevant authorities, but "I do not know what happened after that because they never came back to us."

"We can consider this as one way to marginalise the genuine natives of Sabah, considering the much better treatment given to foreigners in terms of issuance of citizenship identity cards, including those who may had just arrived," charged Eric.

As an example, he showed a copy of a MyKad bearing the name of Jerom Majimbon (560930-12-5739/H0540992) whose address was put at Kg Pomotodon, of Jalan Kiansom, Inanam, which he said was referred to the NRD and later confirmed to be a fake.

"This fake identity card holder had even used my family's name and my village name. I have checked around and confirmed no such person exists, even in my family," he said.

Eric, who had raised the matter in Parliament, was disappointed that the NRD appeared to be not taking the case seriously although it actually concerns national security.

"The NRD only confirmed it is fake and that's it, without any detailed explanation like how it happened and so on. I asked them (NRD) to investigate but until now nothing has happened," he said.

Eric said according to sources the person who went by the name Jerom Majimbon is actually of Filipino descent whose actual name is Jerom Maguil.

Eric, who is a member of the Special Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity, said apart from this, there have been cases of passport-holding foreigners who have had one or two of their children becoming Malaysian citizens, although the rest of their children are not citizens, after they obtained Malaysian citizenship status and hold the MyKad.

These cases involve foreigners from the Philippines and Indonesia, he revealed.

He said this raises a question as to how many Filipinos and Indonesians in Sabah have been awarded Malaysian citizenship and how easy it is for foreigners to obtain Malaysian citizenship status in Sabah.

"Even the IMM13 refugee document holders, the Government during the 1970s had stated that 65,000 IMM13 documents had been issued then to Filipino refugees. But recently we heard the Government also saying there are still 65,000 IMM13 document holders in Sabah. What we know is these refugees are productive but why is the number still the same?" he asked.

"So we want to know how many of these refugees had been awarded Malaysian citizenship, or Permanent Residence or Bumiputera status?" he said.

Towards this end, he queried the population census carried out by the Government in Sabah which showed a 236 per cent increase in the Kadazandusun population between 1960 and 2000, while for other bumiputeras, it increased by 631 per cent.

He said the 1970-2000 census revealed the population in Sabah increased to 2,449,389 from 636,431 (up by 285 per cent), compared to Sarawak's 2,012,616 from 976,269 (up by 106 per cent) and Malaysia's 22,202,614 from 10,439,430 (up by 113 per cent).

"Also what is the rationale behind the Government not wanting to carry out a population census in relation to bumiputera ethnicity since the 1990sÉ and why children born out of inter-marriages are classified as only sino native?" he said.

Eric also chairs his party's Illegal Immigrants and Identity Card (IC) Bureau, which was formed after it pulled out from Barisan Nasional (BN), to gather information related to the problems of illegal immigrants and identity card problems.

He said the information gathered would be brought up to the Government's attention, to let them know and take these matters seriously.

"This is because the Government has not taken action or given apt attention to these things. As we are now already being marginalised in all aspects, what will happen to our future generations. People should not simply say that we are touching on a sensitive issue just because we are talking about something concerning the future of our children and their next generation," he said.

"The situation we are in right now calls for a change in government," he said, inviting the people to come forward with relevant information for his bureau.

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