Call on Cabinet on Friday to appoint Joseph Pairin Kitingan as Chairman of RCIIIS Implementation Committee and not RCIIIS Review Committee to demonstrate that the Barisan Nasional has the political will to resolve the 40-year old illegal immigrants problem in Sabah
The Cabinet, as its weekly meeting on Friday, should appoint Sabah Deputy Chief Minister, Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan as Chairman of the Implementation Committee for the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Illegal Immigrants in Sabah (RCIIIS) and not just a Review Committee into the findings of the RCIIIS to indulge in another bout of merry-go-rounds purportedly to compile recommendations on what actions should be taken by the Federal Government on the RCIIIS Report.
The Pairin RCIIIS Implementation Committee should be given all necessary Federal and Sabah State government powers to immediately implement the recommendations of the RCIIIS, and all the relevant Federal and State Ministries and departments should come under its purview and direction.
The Pairin RCIIS Implementaiton Committee should be given two months to present a report to Parliament on the RCIIIS recommendations which it could not implement, state the reasons and seek parliamentary authority for the steps and measures which should be taken to deal with these aspects of the RCIIIS Report.
This is the only way to demonstrate that the Barisan Nasional has the political will to once and for all resolve the 40-year long-standing illegal immigrant problem in Sabah.
The Pairin RCIIIS Implementation Committee should have the highest Federal government participation and representation to resolve the long-standing Sabah illegal immigrants problem, with the Minister of Home Affairs as a member of the Implementation Committee or the Pairin Committee will start off as a “dead duck” condemned to failure.
It may sound very anomalous with a four-decade-old problem, but time must be of the essence to resolve it – but there is no sense of urgency on the part of the Federal Government or the Sabah state government, only the continued mindset of procrastination and merry-go-round proposals which not only resolve nothing but end with an even bigger problem!
This is why the Cabinet and the Federal did nothing in the six months between May 14 and Nov 14 despite the presentation of the RCIIIS Report to Putrajaya.
The very fact that up to now, there are no details about the so-called Pairin RCIIIS Review Committee, who are its members, its terms of reference and time frame, is another indictment of the lack of seriousness and absence of political will by the Barisan Nasional problem to resolve the problem which it had created for four decades.
Furthermore, the Cabinet on Friday should direct that the Report of the RCIIIS should be tabled in Parliament on Monday or anytime next week before the current parliamentary meeting ends on Nov. 27 as it should not evade parliamentary responsibility and accountability by deliberately withholding its public release until next month.
There are three Cabinet Ministers from Sabah. Why do they agree to such Cabinet sleight-of-hand to evade parliamentary responsibility, which is also a great disservice to the people and state of Sabah?
In response to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Saturday announcement of the appointment of the Pairin RCIIIS Review Committee, Pairin said the people have high hopes for the Federal Government to put to rest the long-standing issue of illegal immigrants in Sabah.
Pairin said his party had called for the formation of the RCI since it was established in 1985.
Would Pairin agree that the establishment of a RCIIIS Review Committee instead of a RCIIIS Implementation Committee is only the latest ruse in the 40-year merry-go-rounds over the problem of illegal problems, which will end up with the problem becoming worse instead of being resolved.
I remember when I visited Sabah in 1978, I had warned that Sabah faced three grave problems – the illegal immigrant problem which I had cited had reached 140,000, the crime situation and grave problem of corruption.
All these three problems have gone from bad to worse in the past four decades, with the illegal immigrant problem mushrooming to 1.5 million to 1.9 million making native Sabahans foreigners in their own land, while crime and corruption have worsened by leaps and bounds.
Would the Sabah illegal immigrant problem exceed 2 million before the Pairin RCIIIS Review Committee submits its report and gallop to higher figures before any action is decided on how to implement the RCIIIS Report?
For this reason, I am against any more delay or procrastination to the 40-year problem and I call for a united and concerted effort by all political parties and political leaders, whether in Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat, whether in Sabah or in Malaysia, to jointly demand (i) tabling of the RCIIIS Report in Parliament on Monday or next week; and (ii) establishment of a Pairin RCIIIS Implementation Committee and not a Pairin RCIIIS Review Committee.