KOTA KINABALU: Former Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak opined that the opposition led by former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was worried over the possibility of the Barisan Nasional (BN) government resolving the illegal immigrants’ issue in Sabah, once and for all.
Describing the opposition as opportunist, he said the opposition was trying to manipulate and opportunistically take advantage of the situation for political gains and interfered with the work of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants in the state.
“Obviously, Pakatan (opposition) is worried that BN will resolve the illegal immigrants’ issue in Sabah. That’s why they are politicising the issue. They don’t want the RCI panel to complete their work and use statements from ex-ISA (Internal Security Act) detainees to undermine the findings.
“Their sole strategy is to implicate Umno,” he told Bernama after attending a state Maulidur Rasul function, here yesterday.
Salleh, who is Sabah Umno liaison deputy chief and State Legislative Assembly Speaker, was asked to comment on the purported RCI forum organised by an opposition party, here yesterday.
He reiterated that BN government was serious about solving the perennial illegal immigrants problem in Sabah.
“If they are sincere in resolving the issue, they should support the RCI to accomplish the task,” he said.
On Tuesday, Salleh, who is also the Kota Belud Umno Division chief had challenged Anwar to tell the truth about the illegal immigrants to the (RCI) that is tasked with looking into the long-standing problem in the state.
Salleh was quoted as asserting 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”.
The setting up of the RCI and appointment of its chairman and members was announced by the Prime Minister on Aug 11, last year to solve the problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah.
The hearing of the proceedings is headed by former Chief Justice of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Steve Shim Lip Kiong.
The panellists are 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 29 to Feb 1 and from Feb 22 to Feb 27. — Bernama