By Ivan HoLAHAD DATU: Migrant workers and stateless people from the Philippines have started carrying identity cards issued by the "Council of Regents of the Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam".
Police were surprised when a Filipino pulled out the card to identify himself during an operation to weed out illegal immigrants in the district.
The laminated green identification card about the size of a Malaysian driving licence was seized from the man during a surprise raid at the Sri Permata construction site in Dam Road on Monday.
District Officer Zulkifli Haji Nasir said the government did not recognise such documents and it cannot be used as a legal travel document by Filipinos in Sabah.
He advised business operators here to be wary of hiring foreigners with such ID cards.
Meanwhile, district police chief Supt Shumsudin Mat advised the public not to be alarmed by the finding as it did not post a security threat.
"Our investigation revealed there is no threat to our security. The bearers simply use it to enter here to find a livelihood, that’s all," he said.
He explained that police operations against illegal immigrants in the district was to enhance security.
"It’s normal for police to carry out such operations. It has nothing to do with us finding such a card. In fact the card was found while police were conducting the operation … no connection at all," he added.
The back of the seized card read: "To whom it may concern, the holder of this card is a citizen of the Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam. Thus he or she is recognised as ‘stateless person’ based on Article 1, Section 1 of the 'Convention relating to status of stateless persons' regulated by the United Nation High Commissioner for Human Rights. Entry into force 6th June, 1960".
It is also bears the United Nations logo as well as the impression of a flag and other logos.