Tuesday 4 September 2012

Sabah RCI: Three weeks and waiting…

Sabah PKR wants Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to explain the delay in getting the Royal Commission of Inquiry into illegals started 
KOTA KINABALU: When Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak annouced  the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the much awaited Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants, he said the panel will begin its probe after the Agong’s edict on the appointment of commissioners.
But it’s been three weeks since with no further updates, said Sabah PKR.
Urging Najib to explain the delay, PKR’s Sabah Security, Immigration and Electoral Reform Bureau Chief, Dr Chong Eng Leong said the current situation gives the impressions that the RCI is a ‘political gimmick’.
“Prime Minister Najib must explain the delay. Why is there still no Agong’s edict on the appointment of the commissioners now that TOR has been announced. It’s been three weeks…,” he said.
Last month, Najib announced that the RCI would be given six months to investigate the Sabah illegal immigrant issue.
The six months, he said, would start from when the RCI’s instrument of appointments were issued to the commission’s chairman, former Sabah and Sarawak chief judge Steve Shim Lip Kiong.
But that apparently has not happened yet.
The others on the commission are Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry secretary-general Saripuddin Kasim who is the RCI’s secretary, while the remaining commissioners are:
  • former Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) vice-chancellor Prof Dr Kamaruzaman Ampon.
  • former Sabah attorney-general Herman Luping.
  • former Sabah state secretary KY Mustafa.
  • Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation deputy chairman, Henry Chin Poy Wu.
Not enough time
Whilst the RCI has received mixed reviews, Chong yesterday said that the six months time frame announced by Najib for the RCI to conclude their investigations was insufficient.
“There are tonnes of files from the National Registration Department alone that needs to be studied. Six months is not enough for RCI to do (a thorough) job.
“(Also) I have studied in detail the TOR and find it too restrictive. It is only investigative and has no jurisdiction to even make recommendations except on one item.
“(In which case) if they are going to investigate who were the people involved, who was the mastermind in this treacherous and treasonous act, do they (RCI) have the power to recommend legal actions?
“(Also) are they going to investigate into the purpose of giving ICs and citizenship to foreign migrants (as discovered from the KL High Court records as stated above)?” he asked.
Chong said the immediate concern arising from the TOR would be when it is proven that electoral rolls are tainted with non-qualified voters.
“Then there is the serious consequence of declaring the coming election results null and void.
“This could be the ultimate reason for BN not to proceed with this RCI before the 13th General Election, which is why I say that it is a political gimmick,” he said, adding that Sabah’s electoral rolls are estimated to have around 200,000 non-qualified voters among the current 950,000 registered voters.

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