By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, 9.8.1987:
Dap welcome UMNO Youth’s call for deportation of all illegal immigrants and calls for declaring the whole nation a black area for illegal immigrants for systematic and effective expulsion of illegal immigrants from the country.
I welcome the call by UMNO Youth Acing President, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in Taiping yesterday calling on the government to deport all illegal immigrants from the country.
The reason given by Datuk Najib was that many illegal immigrants were spreading Christianity among the Muslims and trying to undermine the Malay political leadership. He even described these illegal immigrants preaching Christianity “in a subtle and quiet manner” as the “biggest threat” facing Muslims in Malaysia today.
Although I fully welcome Najib’s call for deportation of all illegal immigrants, I do not completely agree with the reason he was given, as it should be based on a wider national ground that the presence of over a million illegal immigrants in the country poses not only law and order problem, socio-economic threat, but jeopardizes the very fabric of Malaysia’s nothing-building process.
Malaysians can still remember that when Vietnamese refuges landed on the East Coast in 1979, there was panic and consternation in the Malay community that this was part of a deliberate conspiracy to upset the population make-up of the various racial groups in the country. All responsible political leaders must therefore be conscious of the very sensitive nature of this demographic factor, and there should be no attempt, either overtly or covertly, to upset the delicate population make-up and ethnic composition in the country. The presence of the million illegal immigrants will seriously upset this delicate ethnic composition and in fact, second-generation illegal immigrants are coming of age and will-be entering the Malaysian schools system!
Recently, the Department of Statistics projected that Malaysia’s population will grow from 15.8 million people in 1985 to 22.4 million people in the year 2,000. the department said the ethnic composition of Malaysia would change markedly during the period 1985-2000 as a result of actual and projected differences in ethnic growth rates.
In Peninsular Malaysia, the Malays are expected to grow by some 2.9 per cent in the period 1985-1990 and to have only slightly lower growth rates in the years up to 2000. By contrast, the Chinese and Indian growth rates will be significantly lower throughout 1985-2000 on account of their lower birth rates.
As a result, the number of Malays will grow from an estimated 56.5 per cent of the population of Peninsular Malaysia in 1985 to 61.5 per cent by the year 2000. conversely, the Chinese who made up almost a third of Peninsular Malaysia population will decline in proportionate terms to some 29 per cent. Little change is projected in the Indian make-up of the population with only an estimated decline of just one percentage point.
These are figures and projections given by the Department of Statistics, and are by themselves a source of unease – without the presence of illegal immigrant to complicate and compound the problem.
What is needed urgently now is an effective nation-wide plan to eliminate the million over illegal immigrants from the country. The Task Force VII, which is supposed to handle this problem, is a big fiasco, for it has only overseered the influx of even more illegal immigrants into the country.
The DAP calls on the government to declare the problem of illegal immigrants as a national problem of the first magnitude, and to declare the whole country, as a Black Area for illegal immigrants for systematic and effective expulsion of illegal immigrants from the country.
Towns, villages, districts and states should only be proclaimed as a White Area when illegal immigrants had been effectively eliminated. The government will get full support from all civic organizations and Malaysians, and the DAP pledges its full support to help in the national campaign to rid the country of illegal immigrants.
A nation-wide Citizens’ Vigilante Corps should be informed to clear the country of illegal immigrants, and this will reduce the work-load as well as the expenses of the government in launching such a campaign.
Philippines Vice President Salvador Laurel should be asked to commit its government to a one-year programme to repatriate all Filipino ‘refugees’ and illegal immigrants in Sabah.
As the Philippines Vice President and Foreign Minister, Salvador Laurel, will be visiting Malaysia beginning tomorrow, he should be asked to commit its government to a one-year programme to repatriate all Filipino ‘refugees’ and illegal immigrants in Sabah. The presence of the Filipino ‘refugees’ and ‘illegal immigrants’ in Sabah, which I estimate to be in the region of 400,000 had been a unsettling and disruptive factor in Sabah politics and society for nearly two decades.
In this connection, I call on Philippines President, Corazon Aquino, to immediately renounce the Filipino claim to Sabah. It is the Philippines Government and nation who are embarrassed with the outstanding, claim, apart from being an irritant in Malaysia-Filipino relationship.