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RCI only after much pressure from the people: Bumburing
Published on: Sunday, December 14, 2014

KOTA KINABALU: Members of Barisan Nasional (BN) should not take credit for the setting up of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Illegal Immigrants in Sabah because it was only established after much pressure from the people.

Tamparuli Assemblyman Datuk Wilfred Bumburing said while Upko had always maintained their stance on the issue, it was only after he left the BN fold that the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak finally announced that the Government will set up the RCI during a visit here last year.

"I told Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, when I was still the Deputy President of Upko, to take the party out of BN because if we stayed, no matter how loud we shouted, we will be taken for granted.

"If you remember, I was always making noises in Parliament, that the Government must set up RCI to look into this problem to the point that another BN MP questioned my loyalty to the party.

"It proved that it was never the intention of the Government. But after I left, coupled with tremendous pressure from the people, the RCI was finally announced," he said during the Hopes for Sabah or Cries of Sabah Forum, here.

Bumburing said he was later informed that Dompok had met Najib to inform the Prime Minister why Bumburing left and Najib told Dompok that Upko should stay in BN and he would go to Sabah and announce the setting up of the RCI.

"It is because of us, the people of Sabah who want justice, who want to see the sovereignty of the State protected at all times. This is why the Prime Minister was forced to announce that.


"I left BN because of this issue. If there are questions over the lack of allocation, we can quarrel. But this is the mother of all problems that needs action from the Government once and for all," he said.

He, however, said the RCI report was designed to give time to the Government to keep dragging the issue longer without real solutions in sight.

The expectations, he added, were for concrete resolutions that need to be done by the Government, instead of recommendations to set up various committees.

For example, the Terms of References (TOR) of the Working Committee would be to scrutinise issues laid out in the RCI report.

"Can you imagine how long it would take to scrutinise those one by one? Can the committee do that? Then they will have to report to the Permanent Committee, chaired by the Home Minister.

"Do you think they are so free to look at the report? The tactic is to drag their feet. Such committee was established during PBS time but the committee had no power, so nothing was done because they cannot give directives to the police, the Immigration Department and the National Registration Department," he said.


Meanwhile, activist Dr Chong Eng Leong said since the RCI report clearly found that non-citizens have been enlisted in the electoral roll, it means that the roll is constitutionally invalid since.

"The commissioners warned that serious repercussions will happen if these non-citizens are not purged from the electoral roll.

"In 1999, when I filed a petition in the court over the existence of non-citizens in the electoral roll for the Likas by-election, the court proved that my allegation was true.

"Immediately, MPs stumbled upon each other to amend the election law saying that once the electoral roll had been gazetted, it can no longer be challenged in court," he said.

However, said Chong, the Constitution which is the supreme law of the land clearly stated that only citizens can vote and thus can be used to repeal the amended election law.

There was also the case of two former NRD directors who admitted that they have given identity cards to illegal immigrants, claiming that they did it for monetary gain.


"Think properly, do the calculation. One man said he gave 6,000 cards and received RM170,000. That means, each IC was only RM28. The other man said he gave temporary IC, about 16,000 for RM1 million or about RM60 each.

"But he told the recipients the receipts can only be used to vote in the election. Is that logical? You told the immigrants to vote for you but at the same time, they need to pay you.

"There is no financial gain here. There must have been directives from the top," he said.

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