PENAMPANG 11th July, 2011: United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) will continue to pursue positive feedback from the Federal Cabinet on the setting up of a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to address the state’s migrant issues.
Party president, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said, while there was no final word from the Federal Government on the RCI, he would do his part to articulate on the matter.
“I think some government leaders do see the logic in our request,” he said when opening the party’s Penampang division triennial general meeting near here yesterday.
He was asked to comment on a statement by Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein that the RCI was not necessary because the government had a specific mechanism to address the migrant problem.
Dompok said: “He is not the only one who decides on the matter and so we leave it up to the cabinet to make the decision.”
Hishammuddin had also said that the Laboratory on the Management of Foreigners had already been established last year and it was chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. Among others, it deals with immigration problems in Sabah.
Dompok also felt it was unfair to blame the Election Commission entirely for problems such as illegal immigrants voting because it was the National Registration Department that issued the identity cards.
“When an individual produces an identity card, the Election Commission cannot refuse that person from enlisting to become a voter. There have been other cases in the past and that is why we want the RCI to be conducted. What is the use of being in a party and government if we cannot make struggles for such cases?” he asked.
Dompok, who is also Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister, is among several state leaders seeking the establishment of an RCI to look into the number of foreigners illegally granted citizenship and voting rights.
On another development, Dompok said Upko had decided to postpone its central elections scheduled for year-end, in a move to prepare for the general election.