Ultimate political humiliation for Joseph Pairin to accept RCIIIS Report Working Committee Chairmanship unless he has the political will and courage to come up with a report that the weight evidence of 211 RCIIIS witnesses and memorandum show there was ‘Project I/C’ involving political masterminds
The latest chapter in the host of merry-go-rounds created in the 40-year nightmare of illegal immigrants in Sabah is the establishment of the Working Committee on the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Illegal Immigrants in Sabah (RCIIIS) Report under the chairmanship of the Sabah Deputy Chief Minister and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) President Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan to “peruse and study” the RCIIIS Report.
And true to form and substance as the latest merry-go-round, up to now, nearly 40 days after its first announcement by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak in mid-November when he visited Sabah, nobody knows whether the RCIIIS Report Working Committee has started to operate, as nobody could say whether Joseph Pairin has accepted the appointment as Chairman of the Working Committee.
The last public statement by Joseph Pairin was on Dec. 3, the day the RCIIIS Report was made public in Kota Kinabalu by the Chief Secrertary Tan Sri Hamsa Ali and the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.
Joseph Pairin complained that he had yet to receive his appointment letter although it was nearly three weeks since Najib’s announcement of the Working Committee and his appointment.
Since then, the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who together with the Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, is co-chair of the Permanent Committee of the RCIIIIS Report, had visited Sabah in mid-December and announced the five terms of reference of the Working Committee.
But has Joseph Pairin received his letter of appointment and has the PBS President accepted the appointment as Working Committee Chairman?
Zahid added to the mystery with his cryptic remark that both the Permanent Committee and Working Committee had their first informal meeting during his visit, but when asked whether Joseph Pairin had accepted the appointment as Chairman of the Working Committee, Zahid said the PBS President had verbally agreed to the appointment but he had to check whether the appointment had been accepted by Joseph Pairin officially.
The implication of Zahid’s answer is very clear, that Joseph Pairin was not present at the so-called “informal meeting” of the Working Committee with Zahid. If this was the case, how could the Working Commtitee, whose committee had not been formed, have an “informal meeting” when even the Chairman was absent?
This is piling mystery on a mystery!
But why should there be such great mystery over a very simple and straightforward issue – Chairmanship of the Working Committee of the RCIIIS Report?
Lets have a clear-cut answer and accountability to the people of Sabah and Malaysia whether Pairin has accepted appointment as Chairman of Working Committee instead of all these “cloak-and-dagger” mysteries!
I understand however the agonies that is going through Joseph Pairin’s mind, as it will be his ultimate political humiliation to accept appointment as RCIIIS Report Working Committee Chairmanship, unless he is prepared to publicly dissociate himself from the Home Minister’s claim that there was no ‘Project I/C’ responsible for the issue of tens or hundreds of thousands of illegal or fraudulent identity cards allowing them to be registered as voters to change the political demography in Sabah or even the Chief Secretary’s claim that the RCIIIS had found that there was no political motivation to “Project IC”, as both of these assertions were never the findings of the RCIIIS.
In almost every PBS Annual Party Congress since 1996, PBS had passed a resolution on Sabah’s illegal immigrants nightmare, the Project IC and calling for a Royal Commission of Inquiry and the party had submitted countless police reports and sent countless memoranda to various agencies, the Election Commission, the National Registration Department, the Anti-Corruption Agency, culminating in a memorandum to the Prime Minister in 2007.
They all bore one common theme – the explosion of the population in Sabah as a result of the influx of illegal immigrants was part of a political conspiracy, like ‘Project IC’, to increase Muslim voters to topple the PBS from power.
Is Joseph Pairin now going to admit that the raison d’etre of his and PBS’ political struggle in the past two decades – to expose Project IC and end the political conspiracy to create phantom voters from illegal immigrants – were misplaced and misguided?
However, there is a way out for Joseph Pairin to maintain his political integrity and accept the appointment as Chairman of Working Committee of RCIIIS Report.
As the terms of reference of the Working Committee are so wide and elastic, the Working Committee could “peruse and study” not just the 368 pages of the RCIIIS Report but the 6,000 missing pages of notes of evidence, statutory declarations and exhibits.
The Working Committee could conclude that the weight of evidence of the 211 RCIIIS witnesses and exhibits show that there was indeed a “Project IC” involving political masterminds, give more concrete answers than the RCIIIS on the number of illegal immigrants in Sabah and on Sabah’s electoral roll and recommend actions to be taken against the law-breakers and wrongdoers not only among government servants but also political leaders.
Furthermore, the Working Commtitee could, based on the over 6,000 pages of material resulting from the RCIIIS, recommend to the Permanent Committee and the Cabinet once-and-for-all solutions to end the illegal immigrant nightmare in Sabah, including a recall of all ICs in Sabah so that a re-registration and re-issue of all ICs in the State could be done to flush out and revoke all illegal and fraudulent ICs of the past.
But will Joseph Pairin have the political will and courage to do such a bold act as Chairman of the Working Committee of RCIIIS Report, which will reaffirm the raison d’etre of his and PBS political struggle for the past two decades?