Published on: Sunday, February 24, 2013
MENGGATAL: The current Lahad Datu standoff is an example of the sort of consequences to expect from the long-standing illegal immigrant issue, which Sabahans have inherited for decades, said Upko President Tan Sri Bernard Dompok.
He said the standoff in Kg Tanduo proved that it is time for the country to address its security issues, as the country has a clear policy on enforcement on its maritime boundaries.
He said this would be one of the future struggles of United Pasok Momogun Organisation (Upko) will be focusing on in the next 50 years.
He stressed that Upko played a significant role towards pressing the setting up of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Illegal Immigrants in Sabah to the Federal Government.
"While, we haven't got the solutions to the problems yet, as far as I can see there is a sincere and genuine effort by the Government to find a solution as far as the illegal immigration is concerned," he said, after delivering his address at the party's national convention, here.
He said the Illegal immigrant issue was once taboo and that no Prime Minister wanted to deal with the matter, saying that the standoff is merely "part and parcel" of the illegal immigrant threat.
"Although we agree that every action must take into account all aspects, we also must not forget that our country's laws must be enforced and upheld," Dompok said of the incident that is now running into its second week without any solution.
He cautioned the people to be careful and not to be enticed by rumours over the issue.
Dompok also said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has displayed enough qualities and, thus, deserves all the support needed to lead the country towards greater heights.
He pledged his party's commitment to ensure all the Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates win in the coming 13th general election.
"In the Upko National Convention 2009, we gave our commitment to Najib who was present then, that we in Upko are with him in the arena.
That pledge is now proven to be spot onÉ let us ensure every Upko and BN candidates win," said Dompok.
"This Prime Minister of ours listens to our grievances, answers our requests, and even takes the trouble to wade against the tides, moving the nation forward and excel," he said.
He said he had served under three Premiers but Najib stood out through the many transformation plans he introduced and those being implemented.
He said never before has a Prime Minister brought out his Cabinet members for a retreat, be in discussion until late nights, every month to evoke national transformation.
Speaking in front of nearly 4,000 people, Dompok said: "Najib showed his leadership excellence by doing away with several Acts which had become a thorn in the flesh of our national democratic system all this while.
"These include the abolishment of the Internal Security Act (ISA), the College and University Act, as well as the formulation of the Peaceful Assembly Act."
"Let us appreciate Najib because of his willingness to handle the delicate issue, taking the bull by its horns, and allowing the setting up of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on foreign illegal immigrants," said Dompok, adding he was just waiting for his date to appear before the RCI.
The convention saw several delegates airing their optimism that the ruling coalition would easily retain power mainly because of good cooperation and respect among the component parties.
Earlier, the party in its extraordinary delegates conference passed unanimously, without debate, the extension of tenure for all the existing Supreme Council members until the party election next year.