By Luke Rintod
KOTA KINABALU: The much anticipated federal government’s green light for a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on how Filipino and Indonesian illegal immigrants gained Malaysian documents in Sabah has been met with suspicion by the State Reform Party (Star).
Star state chapter chairman Jeffrey Kitingan, who has been demanding an investigation for years, said though Sabahans welcomed the setting up of the RCI, the government must ensure its sincerity and integrity are reflected in the RCI.
He said he would like the federal leaders to consider a few points that are vital to safeguarding the country’s and the RCI’s own integrity.
“We are very happy to hear that the federal government is finally considering the setting up of the RCI, even though it is long over due but I suppose it is better late than never,” he said here.
“If the proposed RCI is to work and solve the outstanding problems in Sabah, the following must be considered:
- The government must be sincere
- The Terms of Reference must be comprehensive
- Members of the RCI should consist of people with high integrity with no political interest and should be good people from Sabah
News of the federal cabinet’s purported agreement to the setting up of RCI was leaked to a local Sabah newspaper on Thursday by an officer of deputy federal minister VK Liew.
Several politicians were taken aback by the announcement and questioned how such an important issue could be treated so shabbily and announced by a junior officer of a non-cabinet member when it was something that the Prime Minister or at least a senior minister should do.
Jeffrey also reminded the federal government that the RCI “should be done and completed before the coming general election, as many voters in Sabah are foreigners, many of whom are already proven to be in the electoral roll”.