The Sabah State Cabinet wants the relevant authorities to take drastic action to resolve once and for all the issue of illegal immigrants in the state, after the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) blamed “corrupt officials” and illegal syndicates for the state’s burgeoning foreigner population.
Chief Minister Musa Aman said the State Cabinet, with consensus, welcomed the release of the findings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the issue of illegal immigrants in Sabah and supported the recommendations made to resolve the issue.
“THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT UNDER PRIME MINISTER DATO SRI NAJIB TUN RAZAK HAS FULFILLED ITS PROMISE ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE RCI AND TO RELEASE ITS FINDINGS,” he said after being briefed on the RCI findings and recommendations at the weekly State Cabinet meeting today.
He said these findings have been released by an independent panel that has heard and scrutinised the testimonies of multiple witnesses.
Musa said based on these findings, it was discovered that there were wrongdoings committed by individuals for monetary gain.
“These grievous acts were committed by irresponsible individuals who were greedy and they have been brought before the law for their crimes,” he said.
In moving forward post-RCI, he said it was important for concrete measures to be taken to ensure that these acts do not recur and any efforts by any syndicates that could undermine the sovereignty of this nation must be dismantled and face the long arm of the law.
He said the State Cabinet therefore welcomed the recommendations to set up a PERMANENT COMMITTEE on Foreigners to be co chaired by Home Affairs Minister, Datuk Zahid Hamidi and himself as well as a Working Committee on Foreigners to be chaired by Deputy Chief Minister, Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.
“We also call on relevant Departments and agencies to overcome any weaknesses and tighten any loopholes within their respective structures to maintain the integrity of their respective governmental functions and the ultimate objective, which is serving the people,” he said.
In the meantime, he said the State Government would continue to work hand in hand with the Federal Government to overcome issues dealing with illegal immigrants in the state.
He said the relevant authorities such as Police, National Registration department and the Immigration Department are working closely through statewide operations such as Ops Bersepadu to flush out illegal immigrants in the state.
“It is also my hope that our counterparts in our neighboring countries will assist us in this effort by facilitating the return of their citizens to their respective countries,” he said.