Archive for May 21st, 2008

It was 30 years ago that I first raised the problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah

A hostile posting in yesterday’s thread “Fulfilment of 30-year dream of Sabahans in the hands of Sabah BN MPs” reminded me that the first time I raised the problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah was exactly 30 years ago.

I referred to this in my speech in Kota Kinabalu at the 37th DAP anniversary dinner on 4th July 2003, which is worth revisiting, viz:

This is the 40th anniversary of Sabah when together with Sarawak and Singapore, Malaysia was formed in 1963 from an expanded Malaya. It is also a time for an assessment of the successes and failures of nationhood and political development in the past four decades in Sabah.

There is probably no better start for such an assessment than an encounter with a taxi-driver in Kota Kinabalu. In the past few days, the planes are beginning to be full again, hotel room occupancy rates up and travel business and local economy starting to revive after the crippling effects of the SARS outbreak.

But the comment of a Kota Kinabalu taxi-driver was most perceptive and meaningful, when he posed the question: “What is the SARS outbreak for three months when the people of Sabah had been suffering from SARS for seven long years!”

I was at first mystified by what the taxi-driver meant, whether Sabah had secretly been the victim of the fatal SARS outbreak for seven long years without the knowledge of the people in Malaysia , the world and the WHO! Read the rest of this entry »


Motion on RCI on illegal immigrants in Sabah – likely tomorrow

It is now 10.30 p.m.

Waiting in Parliament for the whole day – second one – for the end of the front-bench speeches in the Ministerial winding-up to move the amendment to the Motion of Thanks for the Royal Address to propose the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the long-standing and intractable illegal immigrant problem in Sabah.

The Minister for Housing and Local Government, Ong Ka Chuan, is replying. I stood up to remark that it was all “a political sandiwara” when he replied to the MP for Kulai who is not only his brother but was the Housing and Local Government Minister (Ong Ka Ting) and should have the answers on his fingertips as the Minister responsible for the portfolio for two terms.

There are still two more Ministries before coming to the Prime Minister’s Department, which has four Ministers who should be replying individually on their respective portfolios.

Do not expect the ministerial winding-up to end by midnight – which means my amendment motion for the establishment of a RCI on the illegal immigrants in Sabah will be deferred until tomorrow.

More time for Sabahans and concerned Malaysians to contact MPs, particularly the Sabah Barisan Nasional MPs, to support the amendment motion to bring into being a Royal Commission of Inquiry to resolve the problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah and fulfil their dream of Sabahans for three decades to end their nightmare in the state.