Saturday, May 24, 2008

Illegal Immigrant Issues in Sabah

May 24, 2008

Sabah MPs prefer select committee (The Star)

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Barisan Nasional MPs are likely to pursue the setting up of a Parliamentary Select Committee on illegal immigrants in Sabah.

Kimanis MP Datuk Anifah Aman said Sabah MPs felt that it was a better option than the move by DAP adviser and Ipoh Timur MP Lim Kit Siang to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry on the longstanding problem.

Anifah said Lim’s move for an amendment to the motion of thanks for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s address on Thursday in order to establish the commission was just to gain political mileage.

“We don’t need a Royal Commission of Inquiry, we prefer a Parliamentary Select Committee as all Barisan components can be involved,” he said, adding that he suggested for a committee during his debate on the Royal Address.

He said that Royal Commission would not include MPs and may not even have Sabah leaders on the commission.

Lim’s motion was rejected by Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee stating that it was impolite and that the motion had no connection with the King’s address and should be tabled as a separate motion.

Yesterday, Lim applied for the House to review Kiandee’s decision on the motion to amend the motion of thanks, claiming that the decision was wrong and misconceived as it was contrary to parliamentary conventions and practices.

The move by Lim was widely seen as a test of the support of Sabah MPs who have been critical about Sabah’s illegal immigrant problem which they say is threatening the social fabric, security and sovereignty of the country.

Sabah MPs want direct involvement (NST)

KOTA KINABALU: A Parliamentary Select Committee is a much better way to go about finding a solution to the illegal immigrant problem in Sabah, rather than a royal commission of inquiry.

Sabah MP Backbenchers Club chairman Datuk Anifah Aman said the state MPs were not in favour of a royal commission of inquiry as it would exclude them from the problem-solving process.

"We here in Sabah don't agree with the idea.

"It's not that we are evading the issue, we just want to be directly involved with it and we are capable of doing it ourselves. There are a lot of channels to address the problem," said Anifah.

The Kimanis MP said as the illegal immigrant problem was a long-standing issue, most MPs have had to answer questions about it and were thus able to put forward the people's grievances and be part of the solution.

"Why should we have to sit back and listen to what an outsider decides about our problem and tell us what to do? We don't know who will be on the panel. Maybe only one or two people from here (Sabah).

"We, as the people's representatives, know the people's problems and we, from all the BN component parties, will be represented.

"We want to help and be part of solving the problem permanently for the good of our people."

Anifah said he would propose the Parliamentary Select Committee in June, where he will table a motion in Parliament.

Deputy Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat Datuk Ronald Kiandee had on Thursday rejected the motion by DAP adviser and Ipoh Timur MP Lim Kit Siang to amend the motion of thanks to the royal address by adding: "That a royal commission be established to tackle the issue of illegal immigrants in Sabah as it is feared that their number may be bigger than Sabah's population following statements made during the debate in the first term of the 12th parliament session".

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