Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lim: Committee not as powerful as Royal Commission - The Star

IPOH: May 25, 2008

The Parliamentary Select Committee on illegal immigrants in Sabah will not have as much powers as a Royal Commission of Inquiry.

In response to Kimanis MP Datuk Anifah Aman’s notion that Sabah MPs felt the committee was a better option, Ipoh Timor MP Lim Kit Siang said it would not be as a commission.

“The select committee will have no power to subpoena top government officials to turn up for questioning,” he told a press conference yesterday.

He said officials had refused to turn up and cooperate when the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity tried to subpoena a top Immigration Department officer and a National Registration Department officer on the illegal immigrant issue in Sabah.

Lim said this was one of the reasons why Upko president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, who was Minister in the Prime Minister Department at the time, resigned from the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity.

“A Royal Commission is different because it has the power to subpoena and even take criminal action against those who refuse to turn up.”

Lim said the illegal immigrants in Sabah had been a problem for 30 years.

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