KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) vice president Datuk Herbert T Lagadan has also questioned opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s silence over the evidence presented to the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants in Sabah.
“Why has Anwar been silent on the illegal immigrants issue and the Royal Commission of Inquiry’s proceedings so far? Is there anything he is afraid of?” Herbert asked.
The Kadamaian assemblyman also said that he supported Sabah Umno deputy liaison chief Datuk Seri Salleh Said’s call to get Anwar to testify in the on-going Royal Commission of Inquiry hearing.
“Being the Deputy PM and chief director of election operation in Sabah in 1994, he (Anwar) may have given instructions relating to phantom voters. To be fair to the real and true people of Sabah, both Anwar and former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir should be called to testify,” he opined.
All Sabahans should thank Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for setting up the Royal Commission of Inquiry, he said, adding: “Now we can see the ray of hope that there will be a solution on the problem that has plagued us for more than four decades.
“I, for one, am looking forward to the day when the illegal immigrant problem in Sabah is fully solved,” Herbert said.
Two days ago, Salleh challenged opposition leader Anwar to tell the truth about the illegal immigrants to the RCI tasked with looking into the long-standing problem in the state.
He asserted that Anwar was duty-bound to do so as he was Deputy Prime Minister at that particular period, adding that “he was a powerful man and knew what was going on in Sabah”.
“Don’t be a hypocrite, perhaps with the inside knowledge, Anwar can help shed some light … so tell the truth to the RCI. He must not play politics. At least (Datuk Seri) Najib (Tun Razak), our Prime Minister is prepared to seek the truth and approved the formation of RCI to identify the roots of the problem.
“We should not come to a conclusion and blame certain parties just because of statements by few ex-ISA (Internal Security Act) detainees. We should let RCI complete its works … What we want is a permanent solution,” he said after attending a meet-the-people session at SK Sembirai near here on Tuesday.
In this respect, Salleh, who is also State Legislative Assembly Speaker, said the people should praise and support Najib for his bold move to form the RCI.
“Once RCI completes its task then the government will study and act on it accordingly to resolve the matter once and for all.
“Those who were qualified and obtained their citizenship through proper procedure should not be punished and those who obtained it through illegal or dubious means must have their citizenship revoked. That should be the way,” he said.
Expressing confidence that the illegal immigrants’ problem would be resolved by the government under Najib, Salleh said genuine Sabahans must be patient to wait for a permanent solution.
The setting up of the RCI and appointment of its chairman and members was announced by the Prime Minister on August 11 last year to solve the problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah.
The commission was headed by former Chief Justice of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Steve Shim Lip Kiong. The panelists were Universiti Malaysia Sabah ex-vice chancellor Professor Datuk Seri Dr Kamaruzaman Ampon, Kuala Lumpur ex-police chief Datuk Henry Chin Poy Wu, former Sabah state secretary Datuk Kee Mustafa and ex-deputy Chief Minister and former state attorney-general Tan Sri Herman J. Luping.
Subsequent proceedings would be held on Jan 28 till Feb 1 and from Feb 22 till Feb 27.
Meanwhile, Malaysiakini reported yesterday that (Dato’ Seri) Anwar (Ibrahim) is ready to testify before the RCI if summoned.