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Kota Kinabalu
Ahad, April 14, 2024

Labuan Chamber Expresses Concerns Over Immigration’s Treatment of Sabahan.

PIC: Daniel Doughty.

The Labuan Chamber of Commerce (LCC)  has expressed its disappointment with the Immigration Department’s continued action against Sabahan originating from Labuan, whom they claim are being treated as second-class Sabahan.

The issue stems from the recent announcement that requires Sabahan to come to the immigration counter early for immigration screening, with additional screenings taking place at Menumbok upon arrival.

The Chaiman of the Labuan Chamber, Daniel Doughty in media statement today (Thursday) said, the action has led to cumbersome and timeconsuming process for travelers and tourists coming in and out of Labuan.

He said, highlights the current treatment towards Sabahan originates from Labuan raises concerns over the utility of the Labuan agreement, established during the handover of Labuan to the Federal Territory, if such agreements are not upheld.

“Based on the agreement on Point 1, Malaysians from Sabah who reside in Sabah and in Labuan can travel freely across the two borders” he said.

Furthermore, the strict immigration enforcement measures have negatively impacted the rebuilding of the Labuan economy, particularly in terms of domestic tourism.

The historical ties between Labuan and Sabah are based on the MA63, if the spirit of MA63 were to be respected on it’s entirety, the governemnt need to be reminded that Labuan boundaries is in the Sabah State.

“If MA63, is not respected, at the very least, we should acknowledge and respects the Labuan Agreement where we expect travel freely between labuan and sabah also means travelling to and fro the motherland without hassle,” he said.

The Labuan Chamber is appealing for cooperation and consideration from the Immigration Department to review their current processes and implement technological solutions to streamline the procedures for Sabahan originating from Labuan and Sabahans who works at Labuan, who hold a special position under the Labuan agreement concerning the free flow in and out of the island.

Daniel   urges the Immigration Department to act promptly in addressing this matter to prevent further economic ramifications for the island. The Chamber believes that respecting the agreement will enhance the economic and social ties between Labuan and Sabah.