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Why foreigners getting documents differ in Sabah, S'wak

Geographical and political factors are among reasons that differentiate the number of foreigners getting Malaysian citizenship in Sabah and Sarawak. Malaysia VisasThese were highlighted in the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) hearing on huge presence of illegal immigrants in Sabah, when it resumed Monday. Sarawak National Registration Department head Datuk Abu Bakar bin Mat, who was the 63rd witness, said 5,372 foreigners were given Malaysian citizenship since 1963 up to last year. At this juncture, Conducting Officer Manoj Kumar informed the witness that about 66,000 foreigners in Sabah had been issued with the citizenship for the same period which showed a big gap between the two States. To a question from Manoj, Abu Bakar said the 5,273 foreigners had permanent resident status and thus possessed the MyPR cards prior to getting approval for the Malaysian citizenship. "Personally I believe the geographical location of Sarawak which is different from Sabah is the attributing cause for the influx of foreigners to Sabah. "I see that the location of Sabah, which is surrounded by sea, is near to the Philippines and Indonesia and that is why there are more foreigners in Sabah," Abu Bakar said. Besides, he said, while Sabah is being surrounded by sea, Sarawak is covered by mostly mainland. To a question by Ryan Soh, who was holding a watching brief for Sabah Law Association (SLA), Abu Bakar said Sarawak faced no huge problem that come from presence of illegal immigrants in that State. He said they could handle the entries of the illegals to Sarawak that mainly come from the borders between the State and Kalimantan, Indonesia. Ryan also asked Abu Bakar on general recommendations on how the illegal immigrants in Sabah could be curbed based on his 14 years experience as the NRD Director in Sarawak. "Personally, I would recommend that the security of entry points in Sabah to be tightened and monitoring and controlling by the Immigration to be enhanced. "Immigration posts need to be established at the entry points to monitor and take appropriate action against foreigners coming in and out of the State," he said. Source: http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=85402

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