PR for Sabah Indians

July 6th, 2011 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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Wow! nearly 45 years problem…


Some 200 indians who came to Sabah in the 1960s to work in rubber plantations in Lahad Datu and Tawau can now look forward to getting their permanent residency (PR) status.

Sabah MIC liaison committee chairman V Jothi said the deputy state secretary Maznah Abdul Ghani had given them this assurance.

“I met with Maznah on June 30. We trashed out several issues affecting the Indian migrant workers communtiy in Sabah.

“Among these issues were PR, land resettlement and welfare assistance for the elderly,” he said.

Jothi said he had also discussed the Migration Workers Fund Board Scheme with state welfare and labour department officers.

He said at the meeting they had confirmed the list of migrant workers who had come to Sabah from peninsular Malaya begining 1968.

“We have identified and submitted applications for PR status for 201 people.

“Eighty-two of the applications have been identified. I will be bringing the names to Chief Minister so that the state government can give them the PR status.

“We will be looking into the plight of the others as soon as possible,” he said.

Jothi also raised the land resettlement issue with Maznah and was assured that the matter would be brought to the CM Musa Aman’s attention.

Unkept promises

Jothi said the migrant workers had also been promised a 15-acre piece of land, by the then state government when they first came to Sabah to work.

However this promise was not kept. Many of them have since died but their children are living and working in Sabah.

However many of these children and grandchildren are yet to be registered with the National Registration Department (NRD). This too is an issue which the party will resolve soon.

Jothi disclosed the status of the migrant indian during state MIC’s 13th convention at a hotel here on Sunday night. Also present was national MIC president G Palanivel.

Palanivel said that he had been informed that the migrant workers were mostly deployed to rubber plantations in Lahad Datu and Tawau.

“This is a matter that is long overdue.

“Some of these workers have since passed away but their children should be honoured and given the chance to participate in land resettlement programmes,” he said.

Living in poverty

The Sabah MIC has been steadily reviving its role in the state, particularly championing the needs of the local minority Indian and other needy communities.

In May, the party’s state Youth chief Taran Manoharan asked CM Musa Aman to revive a “nominated-seat” once held by the community in the State Legislative Assembly.

According to Manoharan when the state constitution was first drafted, the goverment had made allowances for “nominated seats” in the State Assembly mainly to cater for the minority groups in Sabah.

He said it was necessary for Indians in Sabah to have a voice.

“This is because the problems faced by the Indians in Sabah are peculiar.

“The Indians residing in Sabah were brought to work here under the Migrant Workers Fund Board Scheme from Malaya.

“Those people entered into an agreement with the Board which was established on Aug 25, 1966.

“Among the terms of the agreement are that these people are eligible to obtain permanent stay status in Sabah and to participate in the land settlement scheme after they had worked for two years in Sabah.

“Unfortunately, these terms were not fulfilled by the authorities concerned.

As a result, some of these people and their children and grandchildren have been neglected and they are living below the poverty level,” he said.



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