(12 April 2000)

KOTA KINABALU: Gaya Member of Parliament Datuk Yong Teck Lee said Kota Kinabalu City Hall should first tackle the illegal hawking dominated by illegal immigrants instead of targeting local hawkers.

Yong, who is also Likas Assemblyman, was responding to a notice dated April 4 issued to hawkers at the Gaya Street Fair prohibiting the sale of numerous types of goods such as clothes, shoes and imported provisions among others.

"City Hall should demonstrate its compassion to the many licensed local hawkers who have been doing their business there for as long as 15 years," he said.

He said hawking at Gaya Street has already become the livelihood of some of the hawkers and the termination of their licenses would affect their livelihood.

As such, he urged the State Government to expedite the appointment of the Advisory Board of DBKK. He believed an advisory board would help in ensuring that its approach is people-sensitive.

"This is to ensure a balanced and people-friendly administration as well as help establish an overall and comprehensive approach in the administration of DBKK," said Yong.

However, he said overall, City Hall had performed admirably since the proclamation of city status on Feb. 2 this year.

"The people can see that DBKK has been affirmative in its action on tackling illegal squatter problems and cleanliness of the city," he said.

Meanwhile, Yong also urged the State Security Council to act immediately on the long-standing illegal immigrant issue in Sabah.

He said the concerted and combined actions by the agencies as shown by the City Hall recently have shown that "we can push back the influx of illegal immigrants." The State Security Council is headed by Chief Minister Datuk Osu Haji Sukam.

He welcomed Defence Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's attention on Sabah's problems, particularly the illegal immigrant situation.

Najib on Monday said the Federal Cabinet has directed the National Security Council to check the influx of illegals into the country and to come up with recommendations to tackle the problems more effectively.

Najib had said that the situation in Sabah had gone unabated and now reached serious proportions. Parliament was told recently that there were some 600,000 foreigners in the State.

They have been blamed for much of Sabah's worsening problems today ranging from crimes such as robberies and murders to social problems like begging, as well as drug pushing, fish bombing, counterfeit money peddling, smuggling and squatting on government and private lands.

Najib also cited the sizeable squatter colonies of illegal immigrants in Sepangar Bay which now posed problems to the Federal Government's plan to develop a naval base. 

Yong said Najib's comments were most welcome as the National Security Council is the appropriate body to tackle the problem at the highest level.

"His remarks certainly gives hope to the Sabah people," he said. Yong, who is also the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President, said his party has always made a firm stand on the illegal immigrants issue...
















Datuk Yong Teck Lee
Member of Parliament for P150 Gaya / State Assemblyman for N13 Likas

Appoint panel quickly(19 May 2000)... Kota Kinabalu: City Hall is on the right track but it can do more if it has the panel of advisers it has been waiting for since February.

Gaya Member of Parliament, Datuk Yong Teck Lee, said the government should therefore quickly appoint at least the minimum five members required for the establishment of the panel.

"The appointment of the advisers must now be expedited. It should not be delayed any further," he told reporters after performing Wesak Day rituals at a temple along the Tuaran Road here yesterday.

Notwithstanding the delay, the former Chief Minister commended City Hall for doing its best since the elevation of the State capital to a city on Feb 2.

"So far City Hall is moving in the right direction...give or take some constraints such as the very stubborn foreign illegal immigrant problems, petty crimes and cleanliness," he said.

Towards this end, the appointment of the panel is in order so that City Hall can introduce new development plans and actions, he said.

Yong's call yesterday was his latest such appeal to the government, the first being early last month.

He then said that the appointment of advisers would complete the upgrading of the State capital into a city and ensure a balanced and people-friendly administration.

On March 29, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Osu Hj Sukam said professionals were clamouring to be appointed as members of the panel.

"There are a lot of applicaitons and opinions to be looked into [before] we can make the appointments," he was quoted as saying.

That is among the reasons why City Hall is still without the panel, he said, adding the matter was in the hands of the State Secretary.

Mayor Datuk Haji Abdul Ghani Hj Rashid had called for the setting up of the panel soon after the capital became a city..




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