Time for Joseph Pairin Kitingan to speak up as what he had done in four years from 2014-2018 as Chairman of the Working Committee on the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into illegal immigrants in Sabah to resolve the longstanding nightmare of Sabah illegal immigrants with voting rights
It would appear that there are many “cavemen“ in high places in Sabah over the long-standing nightmare of illegal immigrants in Sabah on the electoral rolls.
A former Cabinet Minister was asked by a former Prime Minister whether he was “living in a cave for the past 10 years” for asking the PBS President, Maximus Ongkili to name the Barisan Nasional party which had depended on “Project IC” – the citizenship-for-voters scheme.
Ongkili was not only a Cabinet Minister of this former Prime Minister, another of his Cabinet Minister had said: "I am so angry reading the news, Max (Maximus) is crazy, he made a statement saying a party in BN has fake voters, and issues fake ICs… if he mentions BN we will lodge a police report because this is slandering.”
In 2013, this former Prime Minister established a royal commission of inquiry to investigate whether there was truth to claims that identity cards were being issued illegally.
Although the former Prime Minister admitted that there was a “Project IC”:, his Home Minister who is now the UMNO President denied there was a Project IC.
It is clear that UMNO and Barisan Nasional are terribly divided over whether there had been Proiect IC in Sabah. Can the UMNO and BN top leadership resolve this problem, once and for all?
Although the Royal Commission of Inquiry did not come to any conclusive finding on the “political masters” of Project IC, it found that there were illegal immigrants on the electoral rolls but it did not know the numbers or extent of the problem.
All that the Royal Commission of Inquiry Report could say on this issue was that “there is ample evidence to show that immigrants who were not Malaysian citizens, were issued blue ICs illegally by certain syndicates and/or individuals and who therefore registered themselves as voters in the electoral rolls on the basis of their ICs.” (p 306 of RCI Report) and “In summary therefore, on the evidence as a whole, the answer to TOR (Terms of Reference) paragraph © is that there are non-citizens registered in the electoral rolls but their exact numbers are uncertain.” (p. 308)
The time has come for Joseph Pairin Kitingan to speak up as what he had done in four years from 2014-2018 as Chairman of the Working Committee on the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into illegal immigrants in Sabah to resolve the longstanding nightmare of Sabah illegal immigrants with voting rights.
Pairin is no stranger to the Sabah Illegal Immigrants Nightmare, as he had been as long in active politics in Sabah as the nightmare of illegal immigrants in Sabah.
In fact, it is not too far from the truth to say that Joseph Pairin’s rise and fall in Sabah politics were both related to the Sabah illegal immigrants nightmare – his rise as the Sabah Chief Minister in 1985 when the newly-formed PBS caused a political shock in Malaysian politics in sweeping Parti Berjaya out of power in 1985 and his overthrow as Sabah Chief Minister after a decade, precisely because of the success of the Project IC and various fraudulent and unlawful schemes to confer citizenship and right to vote to illegal immigrants.
If not for the nightmare of the illegal immigrants on the electoral rolls, Joseph Pairin would not have been forced out as Chief Minister, and at least half a dozen of Sabah Chief Ministers who subsequently occupied the high office would not be Sabah Chief Ministers.
Joseph Pairin took PBS back to the Barisan Nasional fold in 2002 and was Deputy Sabah Chief Minister from 2004-2018 – and in 2014, he was appointed Chairman of the Working Committee on the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry.
My first question to Joseph Pairin is why the Working Committee on the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry did not release the over 5,000 missing pages of report which were not released on Dec. 3, 2014.
Did the Working Committee on the RCI Report had access to these 5,000 missing pages?
The RCI Report on Illegal Immigrants in Sabah should be thickest and most voluminous of all RCI reports in the nation’s story but it was only 368 pages.
The Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Videotape Scandal comprise four volumes: Vol 1 – 191 pages; Vol 2 Notes of Evidence 1,187 pages; Vol 3 Statutory Declarations 513 pages and Volume 4 Exhibits – 474 pages. A total of 2,365 pages!
The RCI on Illegal Immigrants in Sabah received 361 memorandum and 177 exhibits, held public hearings from January 14 until September 2013 where 211 witnesses appeared before it.
Where are the memorandum, notes of evidence, the statutory declarations and exhibits which were submitted to the RCI which exceed 5,000 pages – which are essential parts of the RCI Report.
Why had the government released less than 10 per cent of the actual Report of the RCI on Illegal Immigrants in Sabah, when the Lingam VideoTape Scandal RCI could present a Report of over 2,300 pages producing all the notes of evidence, statutory declarations and exhibits?
Another question for Joseph Pairin is why nobody knows what the Working Committee on the RCI Report had done? What had the Working Committee on the RCI Report under Joseph Pairin achieved?
It is also time for the other Pairin brother, Jeffrey Kitingan, who is now Deputy Chief Minister and who was appointed head of Sabah special committee on undocumented foreign workers in Sabah in February this year , to report on the progress of the resolution of this Nightmare of Sabah.
Jeffrey had said in February that the illegal immigrants had “slipped under our radar”, and the authorities had no idea where as the illegal immigrants were, who they were or what they were up to – exposing the Malaysian citizens to security threats as well as health hazards.
Has Joseph’s committee resolved the nightmare of Sabah?