Ocean of doubt/skepticism greets Sabah RCIII


The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, has finally announced the terms of reference of the Sabah Royal Commission of Inquiry on Illegal Immigrants.

My initial tweet comments on Najib’s announcement are as follows:

(1) No RCI as Sabah RCIII (Illegal Immigrants) assailed with such ocean of public skepticism/doubt it is bona fide solution 2 four-decade problem

(2) 1st impressions – (i) too little, too late, too limited in powers

(ii) I/C 4votes no more Sabah problem but nation-wide. Y no national probe

(iii)Estimates of illegal immigrants in Sabah range from 1.5 mil to 2 mil. RCI capable of dealing with this number?

(iv) Do’s/don’ts of RCI?

(v) Can RCI probe Project M n call up Mahathir as star-witness?

(vi) Can RCI probe those responsible for massive issue of false documents?

(vii) why PM taken six months to finalise eight RCI terms of reference.

(viii) BN rejected my Sabah RCI motion in Parliament in 2008. Why?

The eight terms of reference of the RCI announced by Najib are:

1. To investigate the number of foreigners in Sabah given blue Malaysian ICs or citizenships;

2. To investigate if the award of such ICs or citizenships were according to the law;

3. To investigate if those given blue ICs, temporary identification receipts or citizenships through unlawful means have been registered in Sabah’s electoral roll;

4. To investigate if the authorities have taken any action or made improvements to standard operating procedures (SOPs), methods and regulations to prevent any irregularities in accordance with the law;

5. To conduct a deeper probe into the SOPs, methods and regulations on the award of blue ICs or citizenships to foreigners in Sabah by taking into consideration international norms and standards that are applicable to Malaysia, and to recommend amendments or changes to improve current practices;

6. To investigate the reasons behind Sabah’s population growth according to the following categories:

a) Sabah citizens residing in the state, including those given blue ICs or citizenships through birth certificates (late registration);

b) foreign workers (including family members);

c) illegal immigrants (including family members); and

d) fugitives

and to study their impact on the number of those registered in the electoral roll;

7. To investigate the social implications on the Sabah community following the award of blue ICs or citizenships to foreigners in the state; and

8) To investigate the number of “stateless” foreigners in Sabah given blue ICs or citizenships.

The RCI will be chaired by former Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Steve Shim Lip Kiong and will comprise four other commissioners ― former Universiti Malaysia Sabah vice-chancellor Datuk Seri Prof Dr Kamaruzaman Ampon, former Sabah Attorney-General Tan Sri Herman J. Luping, Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation deputy chairman and former Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Henry Chin Poy-Wu, and former Sabah State Secretary Datuk Kee Mustafa.

Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry secretary-general Datuk Saripuddin Kasim will act as the RCI secretary.

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  1. #1 by Loh on Saturday, 11 August 2012 - 6:24 pm

    One important item is missing in the terms of reference. That is whether Mamakthir was involved in facilitating foreigners obtaining ICs.

    The change in IC numbering system from the original serial number basis to the serial number within each state and each birthday makes it difficult to detect issuance of false IC. Under the original system, the IC serial number and birthday of the holder could reveal that the IC was not issued chronologically and hence could be false.

    The number of ICs issued on a particular day should be around the same for other days. When the number peaks on a certain day, it is most probably that there are ICs issued to people not born inside Sabah. It should be possible to seek out these people and get to the bottom of how they obtained their ICs. We can be sure that the serial number of IC for each birthday would be higher than the country average on per capital basis.

    Najib has not said how he would deal with people who were involved. Present and past officials who worked in the national registration department should have there days at the RCI to tell us how they were forced into giving BCs and ICs to foreigners.

  2. #2 by Winston on Saturday, 11 August 2012 - 6:31 pm

    One thing can be certain.
    When an investigation is agreed to be held to investigate something, that means the investigation will be superficial and that ways have been found to thwart its effectiveness.
    And it is done to win brownie points.
    That is, if Malaysians are naive enough to believe in them and award them any brownie points.
    We must remain steadfast in our determination to kick out this corrupted and incorrigible government.

  3. #3 by yhsiew on Saturday, 11 August 2012 - 6:57 pm

    The Rakyat know how all government RCIs ended up eventually – futile academic exercises with no real action taken. The Sabah RCI on illegal immigrants is of no exception, certainly.

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 11 August 2012 - 7:49 pm

    RCI on Sabah’s illegal immigrant issue has been given 6 months to investigate allegations, but the GE can be held in 3 months time. This means holding RCi can be to get Sabahan support for GE which once obtained, it becomes unimportant that the results of the RCI (after GE) could disappoint them (Sabahans).

  5. #5 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 11 August 2012 - 8:13 pm

    I think the first main skepticism is that Najib has announced RCI before that in the end, they did not implement e.g. on the MACC..

    Certainly the RCI does not have as wide a scope as possible – for example to check the electoral role for that could have been abused by using anyone including the illegal immigrants.

    Since this RCI has started, Sabahan should vote PR so that PR can guarantee that the RCI will be done properly..

  6. #6 by hvpl on Saturday, 11 August 2012 - 9:11 pm

    So, it required 6 months to clean up the paperwork before actually setting up the RCI?

  7. #7 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 12 August 2012 - 12:07 am

    So if they ‘catch’ 1 million illegal citizens, what are they going to do? Strip them of their citizenships and make them stateless? Deport them back to the Philippines and Indonesia? Send them to Australia? You think it will be easy? What about their offsprings who might qualify for local residence and citizenships? What will the International Human Rights people say?

    With the 13th General Elections due soon, it might make these ‘illegals’ vote BN to ensure their well-being.

    It is strange that after four decades, there have been not one squealer or whistleblower who has come out to reveal the details of this ‘citizenship-vote’ scam.

  8. #8 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 12 August 2012 - 1:17 am

    On surface Sabah RCIII’s terms of reference & compositionof commissioners are fair enough. Doubt/skepticism greets not so much of the goodness of Sabah RCIII per se than whether Najib can secure political benefit out of it for BN in coming GE 13. Here Najib has little option: if he prevaricates or procrastinates forming RCI, there’ll be more defections or loss of Sabah as FD vote bank. If he continues as he does now he is facing these risks: (1) incurring TDM’s displeasure for acting contrary to his wishes and provoking a backlash by warlords supported by or supportive of the former premier rendering UMNO to be internally more divided when itfaces GE13 (2) the RCI failing to secure Sabahan’s voting support, whichever way the enquiry proceeds. If it proceeds like a sham show it will incur more backlash from Sabah voters; if it proceeds impartially & professionally it is still a gamble that Sabahans will say thank you, it means that he is genuine in reform. For the other possible reaction is that “see, UMNO under TDM has done all these, so we must not allow BN led by UMNO to continue its influence here. (3) The effect of this RCI show may also affect Sarawak whose voters may well conclude, “if this is what Federal Govt has done to Sabah we must make sure they have no opportunity to do the same here (after Taib’s exit). (4) And starting an RCI for Sabah implies an official acknowledgement that naturalization of foreign migrants for political votes is wrong and hence opens the door to such similar measures done in Selangor to be openly challenged.

  9. #9 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 12 August 2012 - 1:37 am

    As against the aforesaid risks, Najib’s decision to proceed with Sabah RCIII (which came in defiance of TDM) could cut in his favour only in one possible scenario/development – that is, if the RCI’s investigations/conclusions conducted impartially could successfully kill 2 birds with one stone – ie implicate both TDM & Anwar in the so called Projek M or IC. For then he could harness goodwill of all those arrayed against Mahathir’s legacy, and at same time, in one stroke discredit the man who holds Pakatan Rakyat’s disparate parties together and make himself look (i) “strong” for daring to defy the unpopular strongman, (ii) sincere in pushing reforms in resisting the pressures of the strongman who leads the reactionary hard line group against reforms and (iii) at he same time deal an incisive blow at PR by implicating its defacto leader to the same level as that strong man!

  10. #10 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 12 August 2012 - 1:39 am

    When will the Sarawakians wake up from their slumber? Who will lead the way? The reign of the ‘White-haired Rajah’ must end soon and a new era begin.

  11. #11 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 12 August 2012 - 1:54 am

    It is said that it is ‘treasonable’ to do such a thing ie flood foreigners in a state like Sabah, given blue Malaysian ICs or citizenships just so as to get their votes for BN in the process thwarting the democratic will of the people…..The Opposition should not be too happy pushing for an impartial and vigorous RCI enquiry. Just think for a moment of implications of hypothetical ” What ifs” – for example, what happens if such an RCI, conducted impartially by majority of local Sabahan commissioners were to implicate the hand of TDM and Anwar (whilst he was 2nd man in UMNO then) in these? Doesn’t this make Najib look like a Giant slayer of both those within his party allied to TD against him as well those outside his party in the Opposition against him?

  12. #12 by waterfrontcoolie on Sunday, 12 August 2012 - 7:59 am

    The plan could be to justify all the past decisions but it is a start. Let us wait and see if BN can stonewall this process once it is started. Yes, what do you do with all those ‘illegal’ IC holders? First thing first; they are not entitled to vote! Even if the GE were held then it should be declared Null and Void with a Cleaned-up roll for an re-election! However, they may plan to hoodwink the public, they cannot TOTALLY cover up their wrongs once things get going!

  13. #13 by undertaker888 on Sunday, 12 August 2012 - 8:32 am

    The head honcho here originates from a place called Kerala. Another migrant. This is the root cause of Sabahans’ tragedy, and for the whole country.

  14. #14 by monsterball on Sunday, 12 August 2012 - 8:35 am

    Two powerful BN leaders have jumped ship and join the Opposition.
    Agreeing to have RCI to investigate frauds and illegal immigrants having citizenship status to vote and all under Mahathir’s 22 years old PMship as Home Minister too.
    Najib will never agree to a RCI if he has a choice.
    This way, he is telling voters he will correct all mistakes and all must trust him ad support him as PM elected.
    This way, he thinks he has a better chance to be elected and go to hell with Mahathir.

  15. #15 by Loh on Sunday, 12 August 2012 - 9:35 am

    Jeffrey :
    It is said that it is ‘treasonable’ to do such a thing ie flood foreigners in a state like Sabah, given blue Malaysian ICs or citizenships just so as to get their votes for BN in the process thwarting the democratic will of the people…..The Opposition should not be too happy pushing for an impartial and vigorous RCI enquiry. Just think for a moment of implications of hypothetical ” What ifs” – for example, what happens if such an RCI, conducted impartially by majority of local Sabahan commissioners were to implicate the hand of TDM and Anwar (whilst he was 2nd man in UMNO then) in these? Doesn’t this make Najib look like a Giant slayer of both those within his party allied to TD against him as well those outside his party in the Opposition against him?

    Najib would certainly score some points for one act of good deeds. Mamakthir never repent for his evil deeds, but Anwar has more than repented by fighting Mamakthir and his ilk. On balance Malaysians would give Anwar a chance to redeem himself. People are now waiting to pee on Mamakthir’s grave. They will also allow Najib to retire to enjoy his retirement after he has used national funds to buy personal goodwill for himself over the past years.

  16. #16 by Godfather on Sunday, 12 August 2012 - 12:04 pm

    Najib, under pressure from the Mamak, has ‘amended’ the terms of reference to exclude the investigation of the culprits behind the traitorous act of giving ICs in exchange for votes. If the RCI finds that traitors in the government had issued hundreds of thousands of ICs to illegals simply on the grounds that the recipients were Muslims and speak BM occasionally, then these traitors must be brought to book. The only way that this practice is to be stopped is to put the culprits behind bars.

  17. #17 by Godfather on Sunday, 12 August 2012 - 12:10 pm

    Sabahans should protest against the terms of reference and demand investigation into the treasonous acts and identify the perpertrators. What’s the point of the RCI determining that mistakes were made, that Sabah now has a huge vote bank of former illegals ? For the rest of us in Peninsular, we also need to know if the treasonous acts were repeated in Selangor and elsewhere and by the same traitors.

  18. #18 by Godfather on Sunday, 12 August 2012 - 12:18 pm

    If you go to KK today, you will find that most taxi drivers are Indons. They speak BM with strong Indon accents. amongst themselves, they speak pure Bahasa Indonesia. At the markets, there is a huge contingent of Filipinos. The do speak some BM, but amongst themselves, they lapse into Tagalog. These people have been given blue iCs, and according to Mamakthir and Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, these people have become “indigenous”.

  19. #19 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 12 August 2012 - 1:54 pm

    There are always concerns that the Frame of Reference (“FOR”) of RCI is not wide enough and hence no enquiry will be pursued in direction of who was responsible for unlawful acts if any perpetrated. When the FOR mandates investigation into whether award of ICs or citizenships were according to the law or through unlawful means have the persons so awarded found themselves registered in Sabah’s electoral roll, the investigations into such questions will necessarily lead to related questions of who authorised what and so on. Same as Lingam tape enquiry. Although there initial disquiet about the FOR being confined to authenticity of tape, TDM himself was cross examined by Bar Council counsel, and in the final verdict of that RCI certain personalities were implicated, though the Govt did nothing to follow through on the alleged improprieties/unlawful acts done by these people. The same thing happens in TBH enquiry. There many were not convinced that TBH was not physically harmed or that he committed suicide. Even the RCI’s limited finding of relentless and vigorous interrogation by the trio has not seen any steps being taken against the culprits. The upshot is that we know that the concern is not so much the FOR of RCI is not wide enough. Whether its enquiry will lead to question of who is culpable depend more on independence of the Commissioners; whether any action will be taken based on the findings will depend on the government whether it will direct the police to investigate further and charge the persons implicated by the Enquiry. So it is not so much the FOR – narrow or wide, the scope is matter of interpretation -but other more important factors of who are the commissioners (and stakeholders present) and whether the govt has the political will to eventually act on their findings.

  20. #20 by Loh on Sunday, 12 August 2012 - 3:07 pm

    Najib now has to consider the date of GE with regard to the conclusion of the RCI. If the GE is after the RCI, then how the government act on the persons selling the right of abort to foreigners would dictate whether BN lost the election. He should then call election just before the RCI is concluded hoping that voters might give him the benefit of doubt, if he is still in Mamakthir’s pocket. Thus the probability of his fear of Mamakthir equate to election being held before the RCI is concluded.

  21. #21 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Sunday, 12 August 2012 - 3:28 pm

    Mahathir would sooner finish off Njaib than let Najib drag and sully Mahathr’s name thru the RCI.

    RCI – a farce, fiasco, fudge.

  22. #22 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 12 August 2012 - 3:50 pm

    Najib & advisers have probably thouht through this bold step of RCIII which once comenced cannot so easily ‘kostan’ esp when majority of commissioners are Sabahans (and not personalities serving and hence beholden to Govt). Given 6 months to conclude findings, the premier can have the election earlier (say) in Dec. He will garner the electoral goodwill of having the guts to start something potentially deconstructing a chunk of Mahathir legacy. At the same time if juicy bits come out by then implicating Anwar, he’s then killing 2 birds with 1 stone. Although Anwar says he’s out of loop, any official implicating him (whether true or not) will secure some credence as Anwar was not only DPM at the time doings PM TDM’s will but was also Umno’s head of operations in 1992 to 1994 to (allegedly) topple PBS using phantom votes. So doubts there will be whether he really could claim ignorance of such a massive Umno political exercise! But the time the GE – if Najib wins convincingly- he would be at vantage point to decide what to do with the RCIII’s findings- ie whether to take action against the culprits of Project IC or do nothing as a trade off of being left alone to dictate administration as he wished, either way he is safely ensconced in power for another term with his own mandate, and safe from accountability from questions raised on various other issues against him.

    backlash, Ong said, would come if Najib succumbs to internal pressure from Umno against taking any action once the RCI findings are published.

  23. #23 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 12 August 2012 - 3:57 pm

    ooops- please ignore last para of preceding scribbling unintentionally uploaded.

  24. #24 by Godfather on Sunday, 12 August 2012 - 4:05 pm

    “…the govt will eventually act on their (the commissioners) findings”

    Why would the commissioners want to attribute blame if the terms of reference preclude any investigation of who is culpable ? And if there is to be no attribution of blame, why would the govt bother to act ? They have to avoid a repeat of the Lingam tape RCI where a number of individuals were found to have interfered with the selection of senior members of the judiciary. In this new case, they have to explicitly disallow any investigation of the traitors to the country. Any identification of the traitors could cause UMNO to implode, even if the govt doesn’t act. This RCI is as good as saying ‘we’ve identified weaknesses in the system, we recommend that actions be taken to rectify such weaknesses, but let’s move on’. You can’t withdraw the citizenships already given, so the final conclusion has to be that life must go on. And then Mamakthir will blog that he is vindicated.

  25. #25 by Loh on Sunday, 12 August 2012 - 7:04 pm

    Sorry, I meant to say right to abode not abort.

    The RCI should not recommend that citizenship wrongly given is recognized. That would be what Mamakthirs want. It would also be a disappointment to Malaysians to accept status quo.

    The RCI should get those corrupt officials, who were either induced by material gain or electoral gain, to face the music. Foreigners given citizenship and ICs should have the documents invalidated. They would be the same as the registered illegals who numbers a million and more in the Peninsular. Would Philippines and Indonesia be willing to accept them because they are more valuable with bilingual skill than some Malaysians Mamakthir said were not good in their command of Malaysia language? It might be appropriate to use Petronas funds to repatriate them. After all Sabah contributes the bulk to oil revenue but is only given 5% of it.

  26. #26 by Godfather on Sunday, 12 August 2012 - 10:27 pm

    Foreigners given citizenship and ICs to be repatriated ? Let’s get real. There are millions of them and our legal system can’t possibly cope with the inevitable cases lodged by these people. We need to find the masterminds behind this treason and we have to ensure that this sort of shameful exposes don’t happen again – with any govt.

  27. #27 by Jeffrey on Monday, 13 August 2012 - 12:35 am

    Article 9(1) of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia says that “ No citizen shall be banished or excluded from the Federation”. But there are 2 kinds of citizenship: (1) those born in this country and are citizens at by operation of law based on fact of birth and (2) those like foreign migrants born elsewhere who applied for citizenship and were granted it by operation of law based on official interpretation/application of law regarding their eligibility. Whilst one cannot revoke citizenship granted by fact of birth (like say Ambiga’s case) – unless that citizen by birth has shown himself by act or speech to be disloyal or disaffected towards the Federation – there is no reason to say that those who applied for citizenship and were given citizenship by official interpretation/application of law/constitution
    regarding their eligibility to be citizens cannot have that citizenship revoked if it were established that the officials in granting citizenship had misapplied the law/constitution, and acted solely on basis of political considerations without regard to the requirements of law/constitution on eligibility.

    This is of course separate issue from the other issue whether it is practical or feasible to revoke citizenship (already conferred through irregular means) and repatriate them by hundreds of thousands!

  28. #28 by Loh on Monday, 13 August 2012 - 12:45 pm

    ///There are more than 700,000 ‘Project IC’ citizens in Sabah now, of whom about 200,000 are on the state’s electoral roll of about 950,000 names.///–Malaysiakini

    These 200,000 voters want UMNO to continue so that their status would not be questioned. Since electoral list is compiled by the Election Commission, the Commission is responsible to ensure that IC holders from Project M are deleted from the electoral roll. EC does not obtain voters automatically from the National registration list because it went through vetting process. What have they not done to have missed detecting those 200,000 illegal voters?

  29. #29 by Ray on Wednesday, 15 August 2012 - 5:17 pm

    Workof Evil behind alll these spinning UmnoB….their only survival tool left optimally TDM is a old /sick but still has right to spin his own BS daily prevalently to protect his enormous life savings (billions of ringgits)before he leaves this world … likewise Ajib kor follow suit cunning spinning act which focus the denial of the natural-cum-moral law.
    It is precisely this denial that underlies the moral or mental disorder and mental or moral inability to recognize certain human acts as downright evil
    PR must constantly probes their wrong doing inorder to earn Malaysian Rakyats of all races confidences. Kudos to PR Be strong and stay united as one Pro Democratic Political entity Icon and Stay away from Corruption to gain trust and bonding of all Malaysians.

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