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Pairin’s Tech-Comm Should Be Bipartisan and All Encompassing

Kota Kinabalu:    “The Technical Committee of Foreign Migrant Management (Tech-Comm) headed by Tan Sri Pairin should be fully empowered and be bipartisan and all-encompassing in its approach towards solving the illegal immigrants problems in Sabah including solutions to the ICs given not in accordance with the law and ineligible voters entered in the electoral rolls as was in the findings of the RCI” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief, on the hand-over of the letter of appointment to Tan Sri Pairin by the Home Minister recently.

Anything short for the Tech-Comm will not only be unacceptable to Malaysians in general and Sabahans in particular but will also back-fire on the federal government and the ruling Barisan Nasional in GE-14.

Thus far, the federal government has been dragging its feet and playing with rhetoric, shadow-play and a misleading public relations exercise to make it look good.  

The delay in announcing and releasing the RCI Report, ambiguities in the name of the RCI Panel and the RCI Report, non-release of all documents and records of the RCI hearings, and now, change of name of the recommended Working Committee to the Tech-Comm and the delay in presenting the letter of appointment have not impressed or created any goodwill on Sabahans.   And the task has not even begun.

“Will the Tech-Comm be just another political gimmick, another long and winding road with no solution at the end and another ploy to vote Umno BN in Sabah in GE-14” asked Dr. Jeffrey.

The problems associated with the dubious ICs, illegal voters, illegal immigrants and the arising security and social problems are no longer confined to Sabah but nationwide.   There is probably up to 1.5 million Sabahans/Malaysians with dubious ICs and they are now rearing their ugly heads and making them a ticking time- bomb in the Peninsula as well.

Given the roles played by the federal and Sabah governments and their leaders in recruiting illegals as Umno members and registration as voters thus creating this monster in Sabah just to serve the purpose of keeping a political party in power, the federal government with its agencies and leaders cannot be trusted to solve the problems associated with illegal immigrants and illegal voters.

It is imperative that comprehensive solutions are found to resolve all the problems associated with illegal immigrants, ICs illegally given and illegal voters.   Just repatriating illegal immigrants but allowing fake citizens with ICs illegally given and leaving illegal voters on the electoral rolls will not be good enough and unacceptable.

For that to happen, the federal and Sabah governments and their leaders cannot be trusted to solve the problems alone.   To overcome the dependence on the federal and Sabah governments, the Tech-Comm must be bipartisan.    People from various levels of civil society should be invited to sit on the Tech-Comm.

The Tech-Comm must also be all-encompassing and be full empowered covering amendments to laws, passing of new laws and creation of structural, procedural and legal frameworks. 

For instance, it will not be acceptable if the Tech-Comm is to be restricted by a limited scope of their terms of reference.   And, if the Sabah IC is a solution, as is being considered by Pairin, then it must be implemented.   Saying that there is no mechanism will not be acceptable as an excuse as a mechanism can be created easily.   No stone should be left unturned in solving the illegal immigrants problems.

On its part, the Independent Committee on the RCI formed by the various NGOs and political parties will forward its proposed terms of reference for consideration by the Tech-Comm. 

If total solutions are not found by GE-14, both the federal and Sabah governments should be punished at the polls and be replaced by new governments.

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