Kota Kinabalu 17/11/2012: United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) said the problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah is a common problem for the Government and opposition.
"Just because you are in the opposition does not make everything the present government is doing wrong. Government or opposition, this is our common problem.
"Let us not waste time and effort to over-politicise it. Let's work together to solve the problem. It is an obligation and a worthy cause to each and everyone of us," said Upko Information Chief Datuk Donald Monjuntin.
He was responding to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sabah electoral reform and migrant bureau chief, Dr Chong Eng Leong, who claimed Upko President Tan Sri Bernard Dompok was urging the people to come forward to help the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants in Sabah because he knew its Terms of Reference (TOR) were not meant to solve the problem.
"With due respect to my friend, Dr Chong, what is the purpose of his statement with regard to Upko President Tan Sri Bernard Dompok sincerely urging the people to come forward and help the Royal Commission of Inquiry on illegal immigrants in Sabah, other than a political attempt to discredit and to obtain political mileage," said Mojuntin.
He said Dr Chong is a Sabahan who is concerned about the problem of illegal immigrants, particularly the issue of them gaining genuine Malaysian citizenship illegally.
"So much so that he has researched the matter personally and is a wealth of information on the issue.
"Similarly the majority of genuine Sabahans also share the same concern and worry. A whole lot of them have also researched and have a detailed and data filled knowledge on the issue, irrespective of political affiliations," he said.
Mojuntin said it was also no secret that as a political party Upko was also very concerned with the illegal immigrant situation in the State and it had been very persistent, consistent and very vocal in raising this matter since its inception 18 years ago.
"Since we have this shared concern, is it not common sense to focus on the problem and to use all available avenues to tackle the problem instead of using it as a "political bludgeon" to hammer each other just because we are on opposite sides politically.
"We all wanted the RCI to be formed. Now that it is in existence, let's concentrate and perhaps work together to get people with substantive and first hand proof or evidence to bring to the RCI hearing.
"We may have the information mostly based on hearsay and statistical data on population increase and related matters but what we also need is solid evidence, the standard of which is admissible in a court of law," he said.
Mojuntin said it was expected that the opposition to the present BN government is and perhaps, would continue to criticise the RCI Terms of Reference but totally ignore the fact that a properly constituted RCI is an investigative body of the highest order.
"It has the power to call anyone to its chamber and even interrogate, if need be. In other words, it has a very wide investigative power.
Its findings and recommendations will be a matter of public knowledge.
"However, it neither has the power nor the manpower to take action on its findings and recommendations.
That belongs to the existing and relevant bodies in this country such as the Police, Immigration and the National Registration Department.
"This is an avenue that is open to us all to resolve this problem.
Illegal immigrants getting citizenship and changing the demography of Sabah is a serious issue.
It is an issue that goes to the very basic rights of all true Sabahans.
"It is also an issue that affects the security of not only Sabah but also the whole of Malaysia," he said.