MATUNGGONG: Concerns over alleged Federal Government’s sincerity in implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Illegal Immigrants in Sabah are unfounded, said Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) secretary general Datuk Johnny Mositun.
The delay in taking action did not mean that the Federal Government was not serious in handling the matter, he said.
“That is not true. On the other hand, the delay is due to the need for a comprehensive and effective plan of action to resolve a complicated problem that goes back several decades, an inherited problem that doesn’t lend itself to any hasty or knee-jerk solution,” Mositun said when speaking at the joint opening of the AGMs of the party’s Matunggong and Tanjung Kapor Divisions here.
He was representing PBS acting president, Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Maximus J. Ongkili.
Also present were Assistant Minister of Welfare and Community Affairs Datuk Anita Baranting, PBS information chief Datuk Jahid Jahim and PBS Matunggong Division chief Sarapin Magana ,Tanjung Kapor Division chief Stanley Majimil,former assemblyman Datuk Markus Majihi and former MP Henry Madatang.
Mositun said all Sabahans wanted a quick solution to the problem, and their impatience over the delay in implementing the RCI recommendations was understandable but he said it was not fair to blame its Working Committee chairman Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan or PBS for not doing anything to see these recommendations implemented soon enough.
“It is just not right to point accusations at PBS and Tan Sri Joseph because the RCI Working Committee he Chaired was formed by the Federal Government and had nothing to do with PBS or any individual political party. That Tan Sri Joseph is also PBS president is a coincidence, that’s all,” Mositun said.
Mositun also rejected charges by critics of the government that the RCI was merely a BN gimmick and that the Federal Government was not serious about resolving the problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah.
He said Parti Warisan Sabah deputy president Darrel Leiking, despite being well-educated and quite knowledgeable about government matters, chose to play up this issue because he knew it struck a chord with Sabahans and leaders and followers of opposition parties and groups that usually sprout up like mushrooms at election time.
“But PBS knows for a fact that the Main Committee chaired by the DPM has made a thorough study of the recommendations and drawn input from the various ministries, departments and agencies that will have to implement the RCI recommendations,” he said.
He said PBS had no wish to pre-empt Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi on the matter but added that Ongkili had been liasing with the Federal Cabinet and the Home Minister over this matter to have it expedited.
“All I will say at this juncture is that Sabahans will hear from Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi himself soon about the matter. Of that I am confident. The opposition can speculate and disparage the BN, but we in PBS know that both the State and Federal authorities have been doing their work quietly and without fanfare,” he said.
Mositun told the PBS Divisional leaders and members not to believe in the opposition’s claims of being strong enough to topple the BN.
“That is all empty rhetoric. They are not even united among themselves. They are arguing over almost everything, taking potshots at each other, jumping from one party to another in search of positions and improving their chances of being nominated as candidates, and unable to form a credible alliance even among themselves,” Mositun said.
Calling on voters in Matunggong and Tanjung Kapor to be wary of sweet-talking opposition party candidates, he said there were many opportunists who would contest on opposition tickets but if they were lucky enough to win, they would later jump back to BN or declare themselves BN-friendly.
” My advice is for the voters not to take chances with political opportunists like these who are now either forming new parties, are jumping from one part to another just to become candidates. See for yourselves the truth, and place your trust in BN,” Mositun said.