KOTA KINABALU Dec 14, 2011: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan is hopeful that the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the presence of illegal immigrants in Sabah will be set up by next year.
This is because it is part of the 10 recommendations of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reforms approved by Parliament, said Pairin who is also Deputy Chief Minister.
“So that is already a move towards the right direction. It means only the Government’s adoption of the 10 resolutions and this includes the RCI and will be implemented hopefully next year,”
he said when met after the official launching of a seminar on Sabah Development Corridor’s promotion of SMEs and Entrepreneur Development in Sabah.
Pairin said this when asked about the Government’s response to the calls by several Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties including PBS for the setting up of an RCI to look into the issue which has been described as the ‘mother of all problems’ in Sabah.
To a question on how hopeful was he that PBS’ and other BN component parties’ request will be translated into policy so that the RCI really comes into existence, Pairin replied, “I am really hopeful because the idea of establishing the RCI itself was a strong issue apart from whatever inputs we have provided for towards that formation, in the context of justifying that formation.”
“Therefore when it is adopted, that in itself is an accommodation, an approval of the idea moving towards the resolution of the various aspects of the problem. I am only hopeful, I cannot say whether it goes 100 per cent or 90 per cent but I am hopeful that it will move in the right direction and I think that is what we want because this kind of problem or issue is a complex issue and one that cannot be resolved at the flick of your fingers,” he said.
On the issue of the committee on citizenship which he chaired at the state level, Pairin said that the committee members have already endorsed the idea of the government forming this RCI.
“Basically this has already been conveyed. What I am happy about this twin development is that the committee and Datuk Dr Maximus (Ongkili) are saying that Parliament has already adopted the resolution for the government to form the RCI,” he added.
The state committee will also be looking at other aspects pertaining to citizenship as it includes a lot of other matters which included the illegal immigrants issue, he said, adding that what the committee would like to emphasize is that citizens are very important to a country therefore they must be looked after.