KOTA KINABALU, 8 Oct 2008: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said today the government will ensure the rights of the locals are respected and safeguarded.
He also said the root cause of citizenship mix-ups involving the locals should be identified and rectified.
The issue, however, should not be continuously discussed in the media as this would only benefit certain quarters which were out to exploit the issue for political gain, he said.
“In terms of the rights of the local people, there will be no compromise… if there are weaknesses or problems on the part of the National Registration Department (NRD), it should be rectified sooner rather than later,” he told reporters after opening the 32nd Asean Glass Conference.
He was commenting on the calls by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok that the Sabah NRD be overhauled following the controversy over the citizenship issue in the state, including the one involving a Sino-Kadazan woman, Yong Lee Hua, 78.
Yong, a Sino-Kadazan, was given a permanent resident status after losing her MyKad in 2007.
The NRD explained that it had mistakenly replaced Yong’s plastic identity card with a blue identity card in 1996.
NRD public relations officer Jainisah Mohd Noor said in a news report today that a plastic card, which had been issued to Yong in 1973, only allowed her permanent resident status, and that Yong had never been registered as a citizen.
“This is why she was issued a MyPR, last year (2007), when she lost the blue identity card to pickpockets,” Jainisah said in a report by the New Straits Times.
Meanwhile, asked on Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Raymond Tan’s position in the state cabinet, Musa said it was still being discussed and that there was no urgency to decide on the matter.
“He is still holding the post. There is no need to speculate on this,” he said when asked to comment on a suggestion by MCA vice-president Datuk Donald Lim that Tan be replaced by Sabah MCA chairman Datuk Edward Khoo.
Musa also said a special committee had been formed to monitor the controversy over the claim by former Tenom Umno division chief Datuk Rizalman Abdullah that he had won unopposed as the division’s chief.
Several division leaders, however, claimed that they had enough nominations to contest the post. — Bernama