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Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Sabah’s illegal immigrant – Election gimmick

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Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib TunRazak has recently formed a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Sabah’s illegal immigrant problem and suspicious population boom in the last two to three decades. Led by the former Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Steve Shim,its main task will be to investigate if foreigners in the state have been unlawfully awarded Malaysian ICs or citizenships and subsequently included in the electoral roll.

Sabah’s newly formed RCI into illegal immigrants getting citizenship is a sham and a meaningless general election exercise to hide the loss of confidence in Sabah BN after the defection of a Deputy Minister, a MP and a Senator who were all upset at being cheated by BN for the last 25 years. However, it is clear that the panel’s terms are extremely limited as there is no mention whatsoever about the power to identify why it was done, who were the culprits responsible for handing out citizenships unlawfully, no power to make recommendations to punish those responsible nor how to resolve the problem.

This failure to probe and take action on the culprits effectively mean that the Sabah RCI on illegal immigrants is toothless and another meaningless trick to delude Sabahans who have already been cheated for the last 25 years. The timing of the Sabah RCI also makes it clear that it is merely another show for elections. If the Prime Minister was truly sincere, then the RCI should have been conducted a long time ago. After years of refusing and then more delays after announcing it earlier this year, it is questionable that the RCI should be formed so hurriedly on the eve of an impending General Election.

Furthermore, it is also clear that Dato’ Sri Najib’s RCI announcement is a response to the sudden exodus of BN leaders in Sabah. Over the last few weeks, senior Sabah BN lawmakers such as Tuaran MP Datuk Seri Wilfred MojilipBumburing, Beaufort MP Datuk Seri LajimUkin and most recently Senator Datuk MaijolMahap have quit the BN and declared their allegiance to PR. Chief amongst their reasons for quitting is their loss of confidence over the failure of the BN in resolving the illegal immigrant problem in Sabah.

Estimates of the foreign population in Sabah with citizens from 27 per cent onwards of the state’s 3.12 million population, a jump of 390% from 651,304 in 1970, which is a staggering jump compared to the less than 200% jump of population in Peninsular Malaysia. This is now a critical problem as not only have the local native population been diluted, their political rights have also been usurped.

The people of Sabah will never forgive the BN for this diabolical and treasonous act, especially when it is now clear that the much-anticipated RCI will be nothing more than an election charade. – Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary General & MP for Bagan