Sabah's digital registration pilot project gathered data from 14,855 foreigners, says Jeffrey

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah will continue its digital registration of foreigners across various sectors.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan said the pilot study for the initiative had been completed and the report was presented during the state cabinet meeting last year.

The pilot project, which concluded in June last year, collected the biometric data and documents of 14,855 foreigners from Sawit Kinabalu plantations in the state.

"In the pilot project, we wanted to make sure the response is good and they (foreigners) all come in.

"(In that study), we (also wanted to know about) manpower, but we found it is not enough, so we need to add on (more people)." he said after launching the Forest Management Certification for rubber tappers at Wisma Pertanian here.

Jeffrey, who led the digital registration, said its implementation was expanded to agricultural and plantation areas before other industries.

"We aim to ensure everything is completed within this year; the sooner, the better."

Last year, Jeffrey had said that the digital registration was aimed at addressing Sabah's longstanding issue of illegal immigrants by regulating and ensuring their human rights.

Regarding the necessity of providing free vaccination for immigrant children in the wake of a measles outbreak, Jeffrey said the state Health Department would handle the matter in hopes of preventing further spread of the disease.

The Sabah Health Department had reported last week that about 65 per cent of the 52 measles cases involved foreigners, with 87 per cent of them having never received any measles immunisation.

Earlier, Jeffrey, who is also Sabah Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Industry Minister, noted that the awarding of certificates from the Forest Stewardship Council Malaysia to rubber tappers here was the first of its kind in the country.

He added that with the certification, the price of rubber products could increase as they enter new markets.

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