By Clara Chooi
KOTA KINABALU, Aug 11 ― The highly-anticipated Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Sabah’s illegal immigrant issue has been given six months to investigate allegations that foreigners have been unlawfully awarded Malaysian identity cards (ICs) and included in the state’s electoral roll.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced today an eight-point terms of reference for the royal panel, which he said has already received the consent of the Yang diPertuan Agong.
“The formation of this RCI proves the federal government’s commitment to investigate the issues surrounding the presence of illegal immigrants in Sabah.
“The government hopes that Sabahans will benefit from this inquiry and join the government in seeking the best strategy and method to solve the problem,” he said in a press conference at Sabah Umno’s headquarters here.
The panel’s terms are:
1. To investigate the number of foreigners in Sabah given blue Malaysian ICs or citizenships;
2. To investigate if the award of such ICs or citizenships were according to the law;
3. To investigate if those given blue ICs, temporary identification receipts or citizenships through unlawful means have been registered in Sabah’s electoral roll;
4. To investigate if the authorities have taken any action or made improvements to standard operating procedures (SOPs), methods and regulations to prevent any irregularities in accordance with the law;
5. To conduct a deeper probe into the SOPs, methods and regulations on the award of blue ICs or citizenships to foreigners in Sabah by taking into consideration international norms and standards that are applicable to Malaysia, and to recommend amendments or changes to improve current practices;
6. To investigate the reasons behind Sabah’s population growth according to the following categories:
a) Sabah citizens residing in the state, including those given blue ICs or citizenships through birth certificates (late registration);
b) foreign workers (including family members);
c) illegal immigrants (including family members); and
and to study their impact on the number of those registered in the electoral roll;
7. To investigate the social implications on the Sabah community following the award of blue ICs or citizenships to foreigners in the state; and
8) To investigate the number of “stateless” foreigners in Sabah given blue ICs or citizenships.
The five-member panel will be chaired by former Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Steve Chim Lip Kiong and will comprise four commissioners ― former Universiti Malaysia Sabah vice-chancellor Datuk Seri Prof Dr Kamaruzaman Ampon, former Sabah Attorney-General Tan Sri Herman J. Luping, Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation deputy chairman and former Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Henry Poy-Wu, and former Sabah State Secretary Datuk Kee Mustafa.
MORE TO COME