Reply to Datuk Ray Tan

By Teo Chee Kang JP, Secretary General, LDP

When Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah said that certain leaders in Liberal Democratic Party were ‘confused’, he himself was confused. He forgot that he is now a Vice President of a West Malaysia based Party and his President Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon is one of the strongest advocates of the 1Malaysia concept in line with Gerakan’s ‘Kita Anak Malaysia’ campaign.   

The point made by Datuk Chin Su Phin was premised on the fact that many foreigners in Sabah have obtained MyKad or Permanent Resident status, whereas thousands of our fellow peace loving Malaysians from the other States who have been contributing to Sabah for more than 10, 20 or 30 years and considered Sabah their homes, still find their applications for PR either rejected or kept in abeyance indefinitely. Why do foreigners receive better treatment than Malaysians? Are they more ‘Malaysian’ than our fellow citizens from the West Malaysia and Sarawak? What is Gerakan’s stand on this?

For the benefit of the readers, I now reproduce what Datuk Chin said,

“As we know, many of the foreigners in Sabah have easily obtained the Malaysian identity card or MyKad or Permanent Resident status, but our fellow Malaysian citizens from Sarawak and Peninsula Malaysia have not been granted the Permanent resident status despite having stayed and worked in Sabah for more than 10 years.”

“So we propose that the Sabah State Government should grant Permanent Resident status to our fellow Malaysians from Sarawak and West Malaysia who have stayed and worked in Sabah for more than 10 years, provided that they have a good record and proper occupation.”

 In a Parliament sitting in June 2007, it was said that it is part of the long term plan of the Government that in the end Filipino refugees holding genuine IMM 13 documents would become PR in Malaysia. Today, many of the IMM 13 holders have obtained PR or even MyKad, enjoying better rights than citizens originated from other States and non-bumiputera Sabahans, also diluting the privileges enjoyed by our local bumiputeras! What did Raymond Tan not say something about that? Does he think that these foreign refugees are better qualified to get PR status?

It was in this context that Datuk Chin made the above comments. Unfortunately his well intended statements were interpreted in the wrong context. What we are saying is that citizens from West Malaysia and Sarawak who have stayed and contributed in Sabah for a certain period should be considered to be given PR status, not the surrender of State’s right provided in the 20 point Agreement. Applications for PR will still depend on the existing conditions and procedures such as clearance from the Police on applicants’ records.


Press report reproduced as below from The Daily Express:

'Confused LDP leaders alone on PR issue'

Kota Kinabalu: Parti Gerakan Vice President, Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah, said the Liberal Democratic Party and certain "confused" LDP leaders were alone in its recent call on the State Government to abolish the work permit requirement for West Malaysians and Sarawakians in Sabah.

"We are together with PBS and the other Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties. I think LDP is alone on this matter," he said.

Tan, who is also State Industrial Development Minister, was referring to a statement by LDP Deputy President Chin Su Phin who called for the abolition of the work permits.

LDP Youth leader Chin Su Ying later denied their Deputy President ever called for it and that what he (Chin) wanted was for the Sabah Government to consider granting PR status to West Malaysians who had been working in the State for more than 10 years.

Su Ying's clarification came after remarks by PBS President Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan urging BN component counterparts to refrain from issuing statements that go against the interests of the Sabah people and create fear.

"He (Pairin) was speaking for all the parties including Gerakan and Umno as well as so many of our silent supportersÉwe share the view that we want to safeguard the rights and interests of the State and we will not compromise when we talk about our interests and rights in Sabah," Tan said.

"I believe the people in West Malaysia understand our position, and I don't think they would want to change our position. So it is not necessary for our own leaders to support anything that go against what basically the people in Sabah feel is good for us to keep to ourselves," he said.

He said this is not just about work permit and Permanent Residence (PR) but "it is all what we own and we agree to have for so many years É we want to keep our rights and interests in the State and I think that position is very clear.

"Certain leaders in the LDP are a bit confused over the subject matter."

He also commented on ex-Berjaya Minister Datuk Ayub Aman's recent statement on native land falling into the non-natives.

"The mechanism for safeguarding our land is, in fact, already there all this while. (So) if any of the native lands had fallen into the hands of non-natives then there must be some form of abuse as to how that happened," he said.

"Because if not, how and in what way, could land fall into the hands of somebody if it is already given to the native? That is the question and the issue we need to addressÉbecause in the first place it should not have happened," said Tan.

On another development, Tan said there is no change in the total land gazetted for the development of Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP) which is about 8,000 acres altogether.

"Probably about half of the land has already been developed while there is still land for the KKIP future development," he said, when asked whether the KKIP development land area had been expanded.

Tan said the Ministry will be coming up with a more detailed master plan for KKIP, which would be the second one, to make way for a more integrated industrial park which is equipped with all necessary infrastructures like housing and living quarters and not only industries.

"We also need to co-ordinate the activities within KKIP with a proper plan.

So we know where the manufacturing area is, the housing area is, and the others are, locatedÉthis is how the success of KKIP would be assessed," he said, believing the plan would make KKIP the only such industrial park in the country to have that kind of integration.

Tan also disclosed the Ministry's plan to locate an automotive industry in the KKIP.

Also to be looked into is the marketing approach which is important to attract more investors to set up industries in KKIP, he said, adding that presently there are 200 operators of industries in KKIP, some of whom are foreign investors.