PROUD….Pairin (seated middle) with the Sabah BN component parties representatives after the meeting.
By : NANCY LAI
BARISAN Nasional (BN) Sabah are compiling its respective parties’ proposed Terms of Reference (TOR) on the formation of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants in Sabah, according to Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.
The Deputy Chief Minister, who heads the BN Sabah sub-committee on citizenship, told reporters yesterday that the TOR will be submitted to BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak next week.
Speaking at a press conference after the sub-committee meeting yesterday, Pairin said they have agreed to form a working committee which will be headed by Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) secretary general Datuk Henrynus Amin.
“Today we have compiled the proposed TOR from various BN component parties and the working committee will consolidate the proposal and submit a united draft to the Prime Minister and BN top leadership within one week.
“I would like to thank all the Sabah BN component parties for participating in the discussion which I think have truly focused on the interest of the rakyat and the protection of their citizenship as well as in urging the authorities to enforce the laws of the country,” he said.
Pairins aid they expect the formation of the RCI to be done soon after the TOR is finalized by the federal government.
When asked what would the TOR contain, he said that there are a lot of suggestions from the BN Sabah component parties.
“What I’ve outlined just now is the objective of the RCI which is to resolve the issues pertaining to the illegal immigrants and resolve issues which have been adversely created by their presence so that in the eyes of the citizens it can be seen that their rights are protected and the laws of this country are enforced properly.
“It also shows that the laws of this country are adhered to and respected by people who want to come to work or enter our country because we are talking about the interest of the citizens, about the sovereignty of the country being protected, about the laws being enforced properly and seriously, about rectification of procedure which can prevent the illegal issuance of documents, because in the past we see not only ICs could be issued illegally but birth certificates and also for that matter passport,” he stressed.
“We have all this matter in mind which obviously the RCI has to cover and it must be formed with immediate effect. We are suggesting to see results for the short term within 6 months and for the longer term within two years,” he added.
Pairin also pointed out that there are no two ways about the united stand by BN component political parties in Sabah on the formation of the RCI.
“Obviously the expected announcement of the formation of the RCI by the federal government or the PM has yet to be heard (but) we have no doubt in our mind that the federal cabinet has already agreed to the formation of the RCI.
“We know that part of the delayed announcement is because the TOR coming from so many different sources, have yet to be fully submitted for the consideration of the top leadership.
“We are of course, all in the know that many expressions of views, opinions have been put through the newspapers on the proposed TOR for the RCI,” he said, adding that they come not only from BN but also from the opposition and NGOs.
Obviously this indicated the interest and the focus being given by the public throughout the country particularly from Sabah, Pairin said, adding that the negative implications created by the presence of illegal immigrants in the state have sufficiently been debated in many forums in the past.
“We are all waiting for the necessary announcement by the Prime Minister. In the meantime we have of course been asked to provide certain guidelines in connection with the TOR for the RCI.
“Today we have held our meeting to discuss the TOR and we have taken into consideration the views coming from Sabah BN component parties and we will have a joint listing of the TOR to be submitted to the top leadership to consider and adopt any one of those TOR,” he said.
Pairin said there are a number of angles to be looked at and the obvious ones which have been on the minds of the people and Sabah members of parliament is the question about the extraordinary increase in Sabah population and about the irregularities of issuance of IC to foreigners or the obtaining of ICs by illegal immigrants through dubious means.
Other reasons also include reasons why there had been in the past illegal syndicates which were exposed as having issued ICs to illegal immigrants.
“The truth about Projek IC for example. Basically what we would like RCI to do is to look into the truth of the many queries raised by the public and MPs.
“We have of course over the years said a number of things on what the authorities should be doing as far as enforcement is concerned,” he said. (theborneopost)