Siah (centre) speaks during the press conference. With him are Lim and Ting.
KUCHING: The Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS) is commissioning a research on immigration issues in Sarawak.
Its founding chairman Francis Paul Siah said the non-governmental organisation is embarking on the project as it views it necessary to conduct a ‘long overdue’ study on immigrants in the state.
“This is a priority project of MoCS for the year as the issues at hand are pressing and serious, and require the utmost attention of Sarawakians.
“We cannot pretend that the 950 Pakistanis, as confirmed recently by the Sarawak Immigration Department director, and possibly another 2,000 Middle Easterners, who are lurking around in our semi-rural districts pose no ‘danger’ to us,” he told a press conference here yesterday.
Citing a case involving an Egyptian terror suspect who was arrested in Serian early this year, Siah claimed the suspect had already indoctrinated his Sarawakian wife to be an extremist.
“We have reasons to believe that there are more such migrants, some in the guise of students.
“Sarawakians are vulnerable folks and our homeland is fertile ground for such evil indoctrination,” he said.
He disclosed that initial feedback gathered by MoCS found that many of the migrants are concentrated in Limbang, Mambong, Samarahan, Serian, Betong, Bau, Matang, Julau and possibly Kapit.
“We have also received reports that these migrants have been going in and out of Sarawak and Kalimantan via the lax immigration posts at Tebedu and Serikin,” he said, adding that the state’s border with Brunei is also another popular entry point for ‘aliens.’
Siah said MoCS hopes to complete the study either by this year-end or the first quarter of next year.
Upon completion of the study, he said the findings and recommendations will be submitted to both the state and federal governments.
He said for this project, MoCS will work closely with all political parties, community leaders, civil society, religious organisations and those who care and love the state to preserve the social fabric of Sarawak.
“We welcome genuine immigrants to Sarawak who are here for work or study, but we have to shut our doors to those out to disrupt the strong bonds shared by our culturally rich and socially cohesive community.”
Also present were MoCS Kuching coordinator Michael Lim and committee member Ursula Ting.
- Borneo Post