Illegal immigrants from the Philippines and Indonesia kept coming to Sabah's shore while the Cabinet is debating on the issue.
Datuk Yong Teck Lee, the President of Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) is spot on when he suggested "What the Government must show is a firm political will and more resources, manpower and logistics by bringing in the military, enhancing RELA, special operations to detain the ring leaders (or snakeheads), transfer of the Malaysian Consulate from Davao to Zamboanga and the setting up of a Philippine Consulate in Sabah."
Right now, the Cabinet is haggling over the issue instead of going practical about the problem. In fact, it is the sole responsibility of the government to take action and not waiting for the Member of Parliaments to debate over it as this concern national security and border breach.
It seems that local ministers especially those from PBS, the Police, Military, Navy and Immigration Department are being mind-controlled by their UMNO masters from Putra Jaya. UMNO would not want to tackle the problem seriously because if the government deport the illegals, they will definitely lose their voters who are of illegal immigrant origin but have been Malaysianised or regularized with free MyKad.
Look at United States's Coast Guard, their objectives and duties are to protect U.S water or maritime territory. US Coast Guard do their duty without reminder from the citizen or the government. Don't tell me that our Navy only lepak at their Naval Base in Sepangar Bay.
If the government is not being practical about the illegal immigrants issue in Sabah, it just prove that UMNO have hidden agenda and will by all mean allow illegal immigrants to squat in Sabah and allow them to vote for UMNO once in every five years.
The pri-bumi of Sabah led by the KadazanDusu should be overzealous on their territory. Today, they are being slack and accommodative to the illegal immigrants. In the near future, don't be surprise if the illegal immigrants is the majority pri-bumi of Sabah.
* PBS leaders ignored illegal immigrants problem in Sabah
* Sabahan will address the illegals as TUAN in future
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Action on illegals does not depend on commission: Yong
Kota Kinabalu: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Yong Teck Lee on Monday hoped the ongoing debate over a Royal Commission or a Select Committee will not defer urgent action against illegal immigrants, which is much more important, in Sabah.
"Do not allow the debate over a Royal Commission or a Select Committee to defer urgent action against illegal immigrants because the sovereignty of the nation and security of the people is a most basic duty of the Government," he said.
"The Government must not fail to defend the country's borders and protect the local citizens against huge numbers of illegal immigrants for instance, the authorities' plan to deport 500 illegals per month (or a meagre 6,000 per year) is a joke," added the former Chief Minister.
Yong said in debating the merits or otherwise of a Parliamentary Select Committee on illegal immigrants "we should recall our experiences and not waste time starting all over again."
He said the State Legislative Assembly had actually formed a Select Committee on May 15, 2001 to address the issue of illegal immigrants in Sabah.
The members, he said, included Datuk Abdul Ghapur Salleh (now MP for Kalabakan), Datuk Wilfred M. Bumburing (now MP for Tuaran), Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili (now MP for Kota Marudu and Federal Minister), Datuk Radin Malleh (now Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister), together with then Assemblymen Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan (Bingkor) and Datuk Mohd Lan Allani (Sulabayan) and himself (Likas).
"My membership in the committee had become uncertain as a result of the election petition and Likas and Gaya by-elections at the time," said Yong in a statement.
The committee met twice - on June 12 and July 2, 2001 - and the final report containing facts and figures was dated October 13, 2001, he said, adding the said report (now available at www.sapp.org.my) is sufficient as an official document for further action, of which sadly there has been little.
"Therefore, I doubt whether another Select Committee, even at the Parliamentary level, will make any difference," he said.
Yong said the reality is that the formation of a Royal Commission, a favourite subject of the PBS before it re-joined BN in 2003, is up to the Federal Cabinet, not Parliament.
And as shockingly revealed by a PBS Supreme Councillor, he said it was the PBS Federal Cabinet Minister who lobbied against the motion on a Royal Commission.
"Hence, the only logical and remaining step is for the Ministers from Sabah to ask the Federal Cabinet to approve the formation of a Royal Commission similar to the commissions over the V. K. Lingham tape, the police, Anti- Corruption Agency and on judicial appointments," he said.
Having said that, he reminded the authorities that comprehensive action against illegal immigrants do not depend on a royal commission or parliamentary select committees of any sort.
Referring to SAPP's 14-point plan submitted to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Sabah Chief Minister in October 2006, Yong said:
"We have presented this many times at several meetings but to no avail.
The actions proposed in the 14-point plan do not require a royal commission, select committees or further debates.
"What the Government must show is a firm political will and more resources, manpower and logistics by bringing in the military, enhancing RELA, special operations to detain the ring leaders (or snakeheads), transfer of the Malaysian Consulate from Davao to Zamboanga and the setting up of a Philippine Consulate in Sabah," he said.
Malaysia should use more of its leverage in international bodies like Asean and the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) to get the Philippine Government to cooperate, he said.
"Malaysia can also suspend the Zamboanga-Sandakan ferry service, impose bonds on incoming visitors, requiring ferry passengers to possess return tickets and step up enforcement at all levels of government," said Yong.
There are also fresh developments in the Southern Philippines to worry about, he said, adding the withdrawal of the Malaysian peace monitors from Mindanao last month is a clear indication of failure of the peace process involving the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
"The weekend rumblings from Davao from freed rebel Prof. Nur Misuari over the Philippines Claim on Sabah and the re-grouping of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) are matters that warrant the immediate attention of the National Security Council in Putrajaya and the Sabah State Security Committee," he said.