Columnist : WSJ, Kawadan Klias
Kad Burung-Burung, PSS and IMM13 will no doubt be one of the hot topics going to be peddled during the run up to GE15. There are quarters trying to pin the ‘original sin’ to PBS for issuing the Kad Burung-Burung in the mid 80s.
This issue is actually best addressed by PBS themselves. However, since it invariably always drag Datuk Dr Jeffrey G. Kitingan (DDJK) into the argument, this writer thinks it best to address the ‘elephant in the room’.
For starter, DDJK was never a Minister in the State Cabinet prior to the 1990s. He was the Chairman of Sabah Foundation in 1985 and served various roles as Directors in one or two government agencies. In 1985, he founded the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and served as its Executive Chairman until 1991.
Now let us revisit the sworn testimony of Mr Abd Jaapar Alip in the public hearing of illegal immigrants in Sabah conducted by the Royal Commission of Inquiry in 2013 as reported by the Daily Express.
Mr Abd Jaapar was the former Head of Settlement Unit established by the Berjaya government in 1976 to manage the settlement of War Refugees and displaced people from the Philippines. They were in charge of determining the status of these people and up to 1984, they had identified 73,000/- war refugees or displaced people.
“Asked why the period was only up to 1984, he said it was because hostility had stopped in the southern Philippines that year.”
“Abd Jaapar said that by September 1985, the State Government had directed that the exercise to be stopped with immediate effect.
“Asked if he knew the reason for it, he answered in the negative.
“But there was a change in State Government (PBS took over the State Government from Berjaya,” he said, adding that shortly after the unit was tasked to handle the “Kad Burung-Burung” through the study of transient population.”
So the first thing that PBS did when they took over in 1985 was to stop the exercise of identifying War Refugees or Displaced people and started a study on Transient population in collaboration with IDS which was chaired by DDJK.
“It was done in two phases with the first being a census conducted in collaboration with the Institute of Develpment Studies (IDS) by going to houses where suspected illegal immigrants were staying.”
“The second phase was to register them for the issuance of the Temporary Registration Card.”
Abd Japaar said these Kad Burung-Burung were not documents recognised by National Registration Department (NRD) as valid idetification document and admitted the whole exercise was to ‘catch’ illegal immigrants.
“He also admitted that the census exercise was actually to find illegal immigrants in the State.”
http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=839736 Read here for more info of Abd Japaar’s sworn testimony.
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2013/07/17/sabar-rci-ic Read here for DDJK’s sworn testimony.
The PBS administration in the 80s has been accused of not doing enough and being the first to give documentation to illegal immigrants when the testimony above clearly exonerate them of the accusation.
The Kad Burung-Burung exercise was to identify the illegals for further action and as testified, they were issued to all illegals of different nationalities.
The questions we should ask now is 1) Who wielded the ultimate power in the land then? 2) Who suppressed the lone voice of MA63 then and bundled him in Kamunting ‘resort’?
*The Columnist opinion does not necessarily reflect the organisation’s opinion.