Kota Marudu Member of Parliament

Review trading licences of foreigners

KOTA MARUDU, December 5, 2012 (The Borneo Post) -- Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Ongkili has asked the Kota Marudu District Council to review the trading licences of a number of foreigners who have set up businesses in the district.

He said many had questioned the presence of the foreigners who operated shops in the town area and there was a need to vet them to ensure they were legitimate.

In his speech at a gathering with the people at Dewan Hatob in Kampung Lotong here yesterday, the Kota Marudu member of parliament said he had asked the council at its Monday meeting to investigate the complaints from Kota Marudu folks on the presence of foreigners in the district.

“We need to review their trading licence and also check whether they and their workers possess proper papers, including valid and legal trading licence, identity and travel documents.

“While we welcome investors from overseas and outside the state to set up businesses in Kota Marudu, they and their foreign workers must be law-abiding and contribute to the development of the community,” he said.

The matter was raised at the council meeting following public reaction to the recent murder of 16-year-old Norikoh Saliwa whose body was found on the roadside in Kota Marudu on November 25. A foreign suspect has been detained.

“Arising from the murder case, the public are questioning the presence of foreigners involved in many businesses in Kota Marudu and we are following up on this matter,” he said.

Dr Ongkili added that the council also discussed the issue of illegal immigrants and public sentiment against it.

“Rest assured we will never protect illegal immigrants, let alone those who commit crimes against our people,” he told the people.

Dr Ongkili pointed out that Kota Marudu is the district with one of the lowest crime index in Sabah, with 64 cases (measured by serious crimes and those involving property) from January to November this year, compared with 74 cases during the corresponding period last year.

“Unfortunately, the recent violent crime has not only shaken the community but shows that crime can happen despite strict law enforcement in our district.

“We also urge the police and other enforcement agencies, including Rukun Tetangga, to step up efforts and vigilance to safeguard the community’s safety,” he said.