PENAMPANG April 21, 2012: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak again spurned an opportunity to mollify Sabahans that the federal government is indeed serious about getting to the bottom how the state had become hosts to a massive population of illegal immigrants.
Opposition politician Jeffrey Kitingan was among the first to comment on the puzzling silence on the issue by the Prime Minister for the second time during a visit to the state.
“We understand Najib avoided any chance to be asked by reporters on the RCI while he was on visit here and in Sandakan. This is the second time Najib cancelled a press conference just before flying back to Kuala Lumpur today.
“The last time he was here (several) weeks ago, he also did the same. This shows the Umno-led federal government is not sincere and committed on the matter. It shows they have something to hide. If not, the PM should have announced the setting up of RCI on such an important sovereignty issue,” said Kitingan.
The State Reform Party (STAR) chairman made the comments in a statement issued shortly after Najib left this morning for Kuala Lumpur from Sandakan where many had expected him to address the problem that even state government leaders believe is a festering wound that needs to be dealt with especially with general election expected to be called anytime.
Najib’s silence on the matter has again left outspoken state Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition members like PBS, UPKO, LDP, PBRS and even Sabah Umno without something tangible to offer supporters crying for justice over what they see as the ‘reverse takeover’ of their state by immigrants.
All have been increasingly loud in making demands together with opposition party leaders and activists to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to investigate how thousands of who had entered the state illegally had gained citizenship.
Commentators said the question of Umno’s and the federal government’s sincerity on the issue keeps popping up and many will see Najib’s silence as a snub and also that the country’s leaders are taking Sabahans for granted.
“The federal and state government should have aggressively carried out the setting up RCI by now but there is some reason preventing them. If an RCI does investigate and is done properly, some people must go to jail for what has happened in Sabah … there is no question about it,” said a commentator who requested anonymity.
Najib was on a two-day visit to Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan in what could be his last visit before dissolving Parliament.
Opposition leader Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also president of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) meanwhile is scheduled to be in Sabah tomorrow.