No new reports – Pairin


KOTA KINABALU: There are no more new reports from the technical committee of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants of Sabah.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who is also the chairman of the committee, told reporters yesterday that there had only been two reports both of which had already been submitted.

“The first and the second are basically the same. The later one is an improvement of the first. Basically, it is one report but further consolidated and updated,” he said after his meeting with China’s Consul General to Sabah, Chen Peijie, at his office yesterday.

He also said there was a need to see some of the recommendations that had been made to be acted upon.

Pairin added although he had not counted how many of the recommendations had actually been acted on, he felt that the government had taken certain actions and steps to look at the entire scenario.

He also expressed hope that the government was serious in taking into consideration all the views raised from the reports as well as from the newspapers and media.

“What we emphasise is the security of our own sovereignty, our country and our people. There is no point playing lip service. We have to ensure that not an inch of Malaysian soil can be tolerated for other people to control or take over. This is an important step. It is only logical. If you want to protect your sovereignty and citizens, you must do the right thing. Government has shown that there is a need to increase the assets in Sabah to protect and I think they are increasing further the number of boats,” he said.

“Our hope is that the government is committed and serious and looking into all aspects of the exchanges in terms of strategy so that we can really protect our country and sovereignty and ensure peace and security for the people so that their economic activities and tourism can thrive for the country and the people.”

He added that one of the more popular recommendations was that Sabahans needed to be issued with new identity cards (ICs).

“I am sure that is being studied. It is not new IC (since) as a Malaysian you have one IC. What that is supposed to do is that it is to be used as a filter and separate those illegals and non-citizens to citizens. It is a strategic consideration for that purpose.

“However, there is no clarity yet on how it is going to be implemented because there is fear and mistrust on the procedure and that is what’s bugging everyone,” he said.

Pairin also said if there were further recommendations that needed to be forwarded, he would not stop from doing so.

“If it is important, then in the context of ensuring peace and security of our region and protection of our sovereignty and interest of the local Malaysians in Sabah, I will not mind or put a brake on it. I will forward to the authority to put all those views that are important for the government to consider,”  he said.

He added that a lot of recommendations from various groups had been received on the matter.

With regard to the committee he was chairing, Pairin said it would continue to exist until it had achieved the aim it was required to achieve.

“The committees are set up to play their roles. When we submit the reports and proposals collected from various parties, we expect that the government through their respective departments will follow through to implement it or parts of it,” he said.

He also reminded that the committees were adhoc committees which meant that when its role was fulfilled, it would dissolve itself.

“Nevertheless, there is no time frame,” he said on the dissolution of the committees.

Reporters also asked what happened to the committees which he chaired when he retired.

To this, Pairin replied that he was not the authority to determine that.

“If they feel that I am still useful, I will consider but I also would not like to say that we like to ‘surung muka’ to play that role. If you want to retire, we should retire as well as possible,” he said.

Pairin also did not divulge any further information as to when he would retire.