Monday, October 27, 2008


Govt urged to solve issue of stateless Indians in Sabah


The State Government has been urged to consider the fate of the Indian community who entered Sabah through the Migration Fund Board (MFB) in the 1960s. State MIC Chairman Datuk V Jothi in making the call yesterday, said that many Indian families and their next-of-kin remain ‘stateless’ and some face a problem in obtaining birth certificates. Speaking to reporters during the Deepavali Open House hosted by Sabah MIC at the Kota Kinabalu Sports Complex in Likas here yesterday, Jothi disclosed that the Indian community had migrated to Sabah through MFB to work in plantations about 40 years ago. Stressing that they highlighted the issue nine years ago, Jothi expressed the hope that the State Government would look for remedies to the problems faced by the Indian community in Sabah. He said that most of these workers and their families have been “forgotten” despite having worked and stayed in the State for so long, and they remain stateless. It is learnt that they were promised Permanent Residence status and land during the Usno administration, but this never materialised and some decided to return to the Peninsula. “I believe the State Government would be able to tackle the problem,” he said adding that MIC would continue to support the Indian community and work hard to ease their burden. In June last year, the Sabah Labour Department carried out a survey to track down those who came into the State through MFB. On another development, Jothi said that thy do not have the numbers to build a Tamil school in the State. The Indian community now stands at 15,000, which is still considered low. We do not have the numbers to build a school. However, time will tell,” he said.