Government sincere in resolving illegals issues



MATUNGGONG: The Federal government is sincere in wanting to resolve issues of illegal immigrants in Sabah.

Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) yesterday dismissed public concern and notion that the long delay of the Federal government in implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Illegal Immigrants in Sabah was because the Federal government is not sincere about resolving the perennial issue.

According to PBS Secretary-General, Datuk Johnny Mositun, the delay was due to the need for a comprehensive and effective plan of action to resolve a complicated problem that goes back several decades.

“It is an inherited problem that cannot be solved by any hasty or knee-jerk solution. The delay in taking action does not mean that the Federal Government is not serious in handling the matter. That is not true,” he said.

He said this while speaking at the joint opening of the annual general meetings (AGMs) of the PBS Matunggong and Tanjung Kapor Divisions here, on Tuesday. He was representing PBS Acting President, Datuk Dr. Maximus J. Ongkili. Also in attendance were Assistant Minister of Community Development and Consumer Affairs, Anita Baranting, PBS Information Chief, Datuk Jahid Jahim and PBS Matunggong Division Chief, Sarapin Magana ,Tanjung Kapor Division Chief, Stanley Majimil,former assemblyman Datuk Markus Majihi and former MP Henry Madatang.

Mositun also said while he can understand Sabahans’ aspiration for a quick solution to the illegal immigrants issue, he nonetheless opined that it was not fair to blame its Working Committee Chairman, Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan or PBS for ‘not doing anything’ to see these recommendations implemented soon enough.

“It is just not right to point accusations at PBS and Tan Sri Joseph because the RCI Working Committee he chaired was formed by the Federal Government and had nothing to do with PBS or any individual political party. That Tan Sri Joseph is also PBS President is a coincidence, that’s all,” said Mositun.

He also dismissed charges by critics like Darell Leiking, deputy president of Parti Warisan, for claiming that the RCI was merely a BN gimmick and that the Federal Government was not serious about resolving the illegal immigrants issue in Sabah.

“Despite being well-educated and quite knowledgeable about government matters, Darrel Leiking chose to play up this issue because he knew it struck a chord with Sabahans and leaders and followers of opposition parties and groups that usually sprout up like mushrooms at election time.

“But PBS knows for a fact that the Main Committee chaired by the DPM Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi has made a thorough study of the recommendations and drawn input from the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies that will have to implement the RCI recommendations,” said Mositun.

He continued that while PBS had no wish to pre-empt the DPM on the matter, he assured that PBS Acting President, Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Maximus Ongkili had been liaising with the Federal Cabinet and the Home Minister over this matter to have it expedited.

“All I will say at this juncture is that Sabahans will hear from Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi himself soon about the matter. Of that I am confident. The opposition can speculate and disparage the BN, but we in PBS know that both the State and Federal authorities have been doing their work quietly and without fanfare,” he said.

New Sabah Times