By Thanusya Shanmuganathan
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 4 — The Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Sabah’s illegal immigrants problem should be widened into a nationwide investigation, PKR said today.
Party vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar (picture) said the unchecked influx of immigrants into Malaysia was now no longer a concern only in Sabah but elsewhere across the country.
“To give citizenship to immigrants on a large scale will impact Malaysians socially and economically,” she said at the launch PKR’s Kelab Mahasiswa Keadilan.
Commenting on Najib’s announcement yesterday that the highly-anticipated terms of reference for the Sabah RCI would be revealed next Saturday, the Lembah Pantai MP said the prime minister was well-known for his pledges but has never followed up with any substantive implementation.
“I do not think Najib has the political will and courage to implement the RCI but if he succeeds in doing so, PKR will welcome it and show our support,” she said.
Najib said he will announce the Sabah RCI during his meeting with Sabah’s political leaders next week.
The issue of illegal immigrants in Sabah has been the subjected of a protracted political dispute in the Barisan Nasional (BN)-controlled state and is seen as the main cause of social, economy, and security problems affecting the locals there.
According to parliamentary papers, Sabah’s population rose from 651,304 in 1970 to 929,299 a decade later.
The number, according to media reports, has since increased to 3.12 million, of whom 889,799 or 27 per cent are foreigners.
The opposition has long blamed BN for the increase in population, claiming that giving out MyKads and voting rights to illegal immigrants are tactics to keep BN in power.
The illegal immigrants have also been cited as the main reason behind the recent departure of lawmakers Datuk Seri Wilfred Mojilip Bumburing and Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin from their cushy posts in BN.