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2010 Apr 15 - Lahad Datu turning into a no man's land

Lahad Datu turning into a no man's land

LAHAD DATU, Apr 15, 2010: Step off the bus here and you may feel you have arrived in another country. Immigrants arriving by sea from the east have become a veritable thorn in the side of the Sabah government.

Pledges to stem the tide of these clandestine arrivals have made little headway. The local authorities are now grappling with the size and impact of these illegal immigrants.

Residents who have lived in the shadow of a virtual takeover of this unhurried agricultural town say these illegals are posing a threat to peace and security.

And their fears were justified by a recent incident last week when local authorities tried to prevent several illegal vendors from continuing their activities.

District Council officers were not only challenged but were also assaulted during an operation to clear the market of illegal hawkers last Monday.

A group of six illegal hawkers not only threatened the enforcement officers, one of them even smashed the windscreen of the vehicle belonging to the enforcement unit.

"There was nothing much that we could do as they outnumbered us, and were also armed with weapons," said an enforcement officer.

He said that the enforcement unit had started to clamp down on undocumented workers who were peddling various goods and items including contraband cigarettes.

He said the council was forced to act after receiving complaints from licensed traders that their businesses had been severely affected.

"It would be no surprise if any visitor who comes here for the first time mistakes this place for a Filipino town," he said.

Unique situation

The growing number of illegal immigrants and hawkers in this east coast town appears to have some tacit approval by powerful people and are being manipulated by vested interests.

"As much as we would like to get rid of them we are helpless as we are not adequately equipped. These people are very aggressive and we are at risk if we push too far," he said.

He said that to resolve the problem, there must be commitment from other government enforcement agencies such as the police, the Royal Custom and Excise Department, the Immigration Department and the National Registration Department.

He suggested that an independent investigation team be set up to probe the root causes of what he claims is a unique situation in the district.

The district council will be holding a meeting at the end of this month with other relevant authorities to discuss the matter, its executive officer, Kusnadi Munawar said.

Police, Custom and Immigration Department's representatives have been invited to attend the meeting.

"We hope to reach an agreement whereby each department sends personnel to be stationed at the council booth near the central market.

"This would go a long way in helping to monitor and respond to any untoward happenings that may occur during operations at the market," he said.

By Queville To

More related news.....

SAPP Policies

SAPP's 17 point Manifesto - Sabah deserves better in terms of more equitable distribution of opportunities, in social, economic and infrastructural development and a better quality of life. [BM][Chinese]

SAPP's Economic Plan for Sabah - SAPP aims to achieve economic prosperity and financial self-reliance for Sabah. Version in [BM] [Chinese]

SAPP's Land Reform Policy - To promote and protect the rights and interests of local natives and other citizens in Sabah [BM][Chinese]

On Oil Royalty - SAPP is not giving up its struggle for more oil royalty payment for Sabah.

SAPP's Eight (8) Points Declaration - Whereas our mission is to establish a trustworthy govt and a progressive ...

SAPP's 14 point memo in 2006 - Time for Direct Preventive Actions

SAPP Constitution (booklet)

Our Sabah..

Books on ....
RCI Report on Immigrants in Sabah
The Birth of Malaysia
Malaysia Agreement Article 1-11
The Original Agreement of Malaysia
Heroes of Kinabalu 神山美烈誌
Schedule 9 of the Federal Constitution

more on ...
Twenty points safeguard
20 Perkara
Illegals & IC issues
Bernas Monopoly
No to coal-fired plant
Sabah Gas pipeline
3 million acres oil blocks ceded
The Formation of Msia & Devt in Sabah
Proclamation of Msia 1963...details
Restore Sabah's right to appoint JCs,
Ex-minister: Review 20-point
Supply Sarawak power to Sabah...
Sedition Act 1948
Continental Shelf Act 83 (1966)
Petroleum Development Act 144 (1974)
Petroleum Oil Agreement (1976)


SAPP bid to discuss Sabah claim rejected
Take action against anti-Malaysia elements
Call for Philippines Consulate in Sabah
Get the RM1 billion and solve the QEH debacle
SAPP's objection of coal-fired plants in Sabah
SAPP: Explain the RM 601 loan to KL company
The missing billion ringgit "special grant"
SAPP on SEDIA Bill 2009
SAPP supports the call for the abolishment of Cabotage Policy
Probe illegals having Mykad also
Political Autonomy for Sabah
Sabah Schools still awaiting share of RM30 million
Special fund: Eric wants ACA probe
Oil royalty: SAPP not giving up
Scrap Bernas monopoly on rice
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