Delays To Long-Awaited Answers On Illegal Immigrants Uncalled For

Darell Leiking
Darell Leiking

KOTA KINABALU – Party Warisan Sabah lambasted the permanent secretariat on illegal immigrants in the State (comprising the Permanent and Technical Committees) for its slow progress in coming out with the long-awaited recommendations as solution to the bludgeoning presence of these foreigners.

Perhaps it was a mistake from the beginning when the Federal Government appointed two State Barisan Nasional leaders to chair the committees, as both are also busy with other responsibilities.

In a statement Wednesday, deputy president of Warisan, Darell Leiking the Permanent and Technical committees could only meet when the heads of both are free and this may have caused significant delay in the process.

Leiking went on to say that the Permanent Committee is headed by Musa Aman, whom I assume to be the busiest individual in the State with his commitment as the Chief Minister, Minister of Finance, head of ESSCOM and even the Sabah Football Association.


“As for the Technical Committee, it is being headed by Pairin Kitingan who is now reaching his 80’s which understandably, he may not have the same vigor and energy as he was in the 1980’s,” said Leiking, who is also member of parliament for Penampang.

Why the BN-led Federal Government appointed a very busy man and an ailing old man to lead a secretariat that is critical for the survival of the ordinary Sabahans, is anybody’s guess, he added.

“But I am also perplexed why both actually accepted the posts when they knew that it will be very hard for them to commit to such an important task,” Leiking moaned.

He further explained that had the secretariat been chaired by young leaders, then the studies would have been completed within a few months considering that almost everyone had the documents, testimonials, suggestions and recommendations from the start of the inquiry.

“While many alleged that the secretariat is merely a ruse to the advantage of BN Sabah by dragging the PTI issue to yet another election year, I sincerely refuse to believe so,” added Leiking.

The secretariat came about because of the pressure mounted by the Sabahans and the creation of it (the secretariat) is all fine with me provided that it has to be transparent and efficient.

A fresh batch of illegal immigrants who were rounded up from a construction site in Tawau a few days ago. - Photo credit MKN Sabah
A fresh batch of illegal immigrants who were rounded up from a construction site in Tawau a few days ago. Some 131 people without proper documents were detained. – Photo credit MKN Sabah

However, the two committees should have been chaired by young impartial leaders in the State irrespective of whether they are from the BN component parties, head of Government departments or even NGOs, he explained.

He also pointed it out that it makes no sense at all for the delay over a very important issue.

“The RCI inquiry report was released to the public on December 4, 2014 and it is almost years now with only promises of something will be done.

“Pairin is now trying to convince us that his committee will release his Technical committee report this coming December 2016.

“Should we get the report from Pairin this December, will the Permanent committee again need a year long to submit the recommendation to Federal Cabinet?” he lambasted.

Leiking said that if such is the case, then obviously Sabahans must stood firm in their resolution and reject the slowest Government in the world.

As a measure for a transparent report, Leiking also proposed that the State Government submit the recommendation by the Techinical Committee to the State Assembly for perusal and debate.

“This is in view that Parliament is reluctant to debate on the two-year long delayed solution pursuant to the RCI Inquiry report,” he said.

At the same time, the State Assembly should also move a once-and-for-all call to demand the Phillipines Government to drop their claim over Sabah, and this should include stopping the cessation payment, Leiking added.

“I believe that once the claim is dropped, the next step is to recall the Sabah IC and use the State Powers which records Births and Deaths to also issue Sabah’s very own Identity Card for all Sabahans,” he explained.

This could be the New Year wish for the Sabahans; to receive the confirmation from a very inefficient BN Government as to when the measures to overcome the illegal immigrant menace in our state will eventually be implemented and executed, he concluded.