KOTA KINABALU, -- Sabah Umno Deputy Liaison Chief Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak has expressed 'full support' for the state cabinet's call to the relevant authorities to take drastic action against the culprits behind the issue of illegal immigrants in Sabah..
He said the remarks made by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman of the state cabinet's stand on the matter was reflective of the Sabah government's sincerity and seriousness in resolving the longstanding problems.
"Now is the time to move forward on meaningful reform of our approaches and policies to tackle the issue of illegal immigrants in Sabah once and for all.
"In this respect, I fully support the state cabinet's stand on this issue. Of course, we cannot solve this problem overnight...but at least it gives us a glimpse of hope to end the illegal immigrants' saga. What is important now is for us to be united in realising this noble cause," he said in a statement, here today.
Salleh, who is also State Legislative Assembly Speaker was commenting on Musa's statement with regard to the state cabinet's stand following the release of the findings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the issue of illegal immigrants in Sabah.
The RCI report titled, 'Commission of Inquiry on Immigrants in Sabah' was revealed by Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, yesterday.
Ali was quoted as saying that the government had agreed to set a Permanent Committee to deal with the matter of illegal immigrants in Sabah as recommended by the RCI on the issue, and the committee would be jointly chaired by the Chief Minister of Sabah and the Home Minister, and would report to the Federal Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister.
He said a Working Committee chaired by Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan would also be formed.
Ali was also quoted as stressing that the RCI investigation did not find the issuance of the ICs purportedly under 'Projek IC' to be politically motivated and instead found that the unlawful issuance of blue identity cards (IC) to illegal immigrants in the state was financially motivated.
In welcoming the release of the findings, Salleh said the RCI report had shed some light on some irresponsible individuals who were involved in the illegal issuance of IC for monetary gains and hoped the authorites would bring these culprits to justice.
"Certainly, our government do not condone any individual who breaches the immigration rules or goes against the law," he said, adding the people of Sabah should accept the findingsof the RCI, which is based on evidence, with open heart, and called on the people to not politicise the "Project IC" issue for poltical gains.
Salleh said the government was committed to finding solutions to the perennial problems associated with the influx of the illegal immigrants for the good of the people, the state and the country.
"Let us move forward to the future carrying with us the best from the past...let us work together for the sake of our future generation," he said.
He thanked the Federal government under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who fulfilled its promise to establish the RCI and release its findings.
The RCI panel consists of independence people - respected retired civil servants and judge, and is not part of the government and does not answerable to the government.
The RCI formed on Aug 11, 2012 was chaired by former Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, Tan Sri Steve Shim Lip Kiong.
Others on the committee were former vice-chancellor of Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Prof Datuk Seri Dr Kamaruzaman Ampon, former Kuala Lumpur Police Chief Tan Sri Henry Chin Poy Wu, former Sabah State Secretary Datuk K.Y Mustafa and former Sabah Chief Minister and former Sabah Attorney-General, Tan Sri Herman J. Luping.