KOTA BELUD October 3, 2011: The Sabah Immigration and Citizenship Barisan Nasional (BN) Committee, chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, should be given the chance to look at the problem of illegal immigrants in the state from various angles, including the idea to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI).
Sabah Umno deputy liaison chief Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said the issues of illegal immigrants or the ‘Project IC’ should not be politicised and is not an easy task to solve.
As such, he suggested that all parties should sit down and contribute ideas towards finding a lasting solution to the perennial problem, instead of finger-pointing in the media.
“If all other mechanisms have been exhausted and still not satisfactory and effective to solve illegal immigrants in Sabah, the federal government should consider setting up the Royal Commission of Inquiry as an option to look at the roots of the problem and to suggest recommendation to resolve it.
“The terms of reference must be to resolve the issues once and for all,” he told reporters after launching a handicraft feista for the northern part of Sabah here yesterday.
He represented Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman at the function.
Salleh, who is also State Legislative Assembly Speaker, was asked to comment on the recent statement by Deputy Home Affairs Datuk Lee Chee Leong, denying the alleged issuance of ICs to foreigners under the ‘Project ICs’ in Sabah.
State BN commponent parties, particularly Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and United Pasokmomogun Kadazan Dusun Murut Organisation (Upko), have been vocal in calling for the federal government to set up the RCI as part of the efforts to address the decades long issue of the illegal immigrants in Sabah, “We should depoliticise the issue and focus on efforts in resolving it,” said Salleh, adding that the government departments must give full cooperation, and there has to be legal obligation to do so.