Call on Najib to give assurance that there will be no further “merry-go-round” procrastination manoeuvre to the 40-year problem and that the implementation of the Report of the RCIIIS will begin on 1.1.2015

The long-delayed Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Illegal Immigrants in Sabah (RCIIIS) to deal with the 40-year problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah which has changed the political demography and caused unprecedented socio-economic crisis to the state is to be made public in Kota Kinabalu later today.

The RCIIIS has been the longest in gestation, as there had been calls for the establishment of the Royal Commission of Inquiry as far back as the past few decades but the problem was allowed to mushroom from some 100,000 some 40 years ago into a humongous and runaway figure ranging from 1.5 million to 1.9 million out of 3.3 million state population today.

As a result of persistent and growing pressures, the Cabinet took a policy decision to set up the RCIIIS on February 8, 2012, but it took another six months to finalise its terms of reference and its membership, another month before the RCIIIS started work, a year for public hearings and preparation of its Report and recommendations, and although the Report of the RCIIIS was officially handed over to the Federal Government on May 14, 2014, it was cold-storaged for six months until its publication later today.

The question uppermost in everyone’s mind apart from the contents and recommendations of the RCIIIS Report is whether we have come to the end-game of the 40-year problem of illegal immigrant problems in Sabah, or whether we are only seeing the latest “merry-go-round” procrastination manoeuvre which will kick the problem for the next few years with no real solution in sight until 2020, when the problem would have snowballed to some three million illegal immigrants in Sabah, reducing native Sabahans into a minority in their own land!

Najib’s announcement in Sabah for the opening of the PBS Congress on Nov 17 that PBS President and Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan will be heading a special committee to look into the findings of the RCIIIS and compile recommendations on implementation does not give cause for optimism that there would be swift and immediate action to act on the recommendations and report of the RCIIIS to bring a final end to the 40-year problem in Sabah.

The Pairin RCIIIS Report Review Committee cannot even meet and start work today as it has not been fully constituted. Or is the Pairin Review Committee of the RCIIIS Report a one-man committee?

How long will the Pairin Review Committee take, one month, three months, six months or one year to complete its work of compiling recommendations on implementation of the RCIIIS Report?

Nobody believes that Joseph Pairin will be vested with real powers to implement the recommendations of the RCIIIS, as only the Federal Government will have the powers to implement the Report and recommendations of the RCIIIS.

For this reason, I call on Najib to announce which Federal Minister would be tasked to work with Joseph Pairin on the implementation of the RCIIIS Report and recommendations, and to immediately give an assurance that there will be no further “merry-go-round” procrastination manoeuvre to the 40-year problem and that the implementation of the Report of the RCIIIS will begin on 1.1.2015.

Najib should explain how the Federal government proposes to deal with RCIIIS recommendations it finds unacceptable or inappropriate.

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