KUALA LUMPUR 21/11/2012: There are no plans to widen the scope of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Sabah's illegal immigrant problem to cover Peninsula Malaysia, said Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong.
“There is no proposal to widen the scope of the Royal Commission of Inquiry to Peninsula Malaysia as the problem does not arise here,”
he said when answering a question raised by Dr Mohd Hatta Md Ramli (PAS - Kuala Krai) in Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday.
He refuted Dr Mohd Hatta's claims there were instances in the Peninsula where citizenships were granted to non-qualified foreigners, including road sweepers.
He advised Dr Mohd Hatta to come forward to report the matter to the relevant authorities if he had evidence to back his claims.
Liew also dismissed Dr Mohd Hatta's claims that the RCI was dragging its feet in starting work despite being formed in September.
“Such claims are not true as I understand that the RCI chairman and members have made statements with regard to the start of their work and held procedural meetings to determine who are to testify before them,” he said.
On the proposal by Hamim Samuri (BN - Ledang) for the RCI to work closely with the Cabinet Committee on Migrant Workers and the special lab set up to address the issue, Liew said this could be given due consideration.
He noted the issue of illegal immigrants in Sabah was not new and had plagued Sabah since the 1970s.
He described it as a complex problem that could take between two years and a decade to resolve.
The RCI, headed by Tan Sri Steve Shim, has been given six months to complete its investigation on the influx of illegal immigrants into Sabah.
The panel has identified 48 witnesses to be called for public hearings to be held at the Kota Kinabalu High Court.