Commission needs more bite, says Proham chief

  • Nation
  • Monday, 13 Aug 2012

PETALING JAYA: The Royal Commission of Inquiry into illegal immigrants in Sabah should be given more power to deal with the issue, said Association for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham) chairman Tan Sri Simon Sipaun.

He said the commission's terms of reference (TOR) was lacking in two areas.

“The TOR does not include making recommendations such as what ought to be done if there are some who have been granted citizenship but did not qualify?

“It also does not call on the RCI to identify those responsible for the problem and recommend appropriate action against them,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He said the two should be included as part of the commission's TOR aimed at also reviewing the standard operating procedures and regulations to ensure that the issue would not repeat.

Sipaun also applauded the choice of the five-member panel but noted that it lacked female representation.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced the setting up of the RCI and its TOR during his visit to Sabah, urging locals to support the Government's efforts in finding strategies to tackle the issue.

The panel, headed by former Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Steve Shim Lip Kiong, has been given six months to investigate the issue, often dubbed the “mother of all ills” in the state.

Under the eight-point terms of reference, the commission would also probe whether foreigners who had acquired blue identity cards or citizenship illegally had been included in the electoral roll.

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