PETALING JAYA: Former Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Steve Shim said it was important that the Government appoints a non-politician to head the management committee on immigrants in Sabah, as recommended in the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) report on Sabah immigrants.
Shim, who chaired the RCI, said he and his panel members had recommended someone who was not involved in politics so that a more impartial approach to the long-standing issue could be taken.
“I think the important part was in the recommendation that we gave, which was for a non-politician to head the management committee.
“The Government, as I understand, has however chosen a politician. But we look forward to the next course of action,” he said.
Shim was referring to the setting up of a special panel to study the RCI’s recommendations, headed by Sabah deputy chief minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.
He said the report, which was made public yesterday, had covered all angles and expressed his satisfaction with the “smooth proceedings” conducted.
“There was quite a long break in between because of the incident in Lahad Datu, but overall I am happy with the evidence gathered,” he said.
In its chapter on recommendations, the panel proposed a management committee on foreigners or, if that was not acceptable, a council on immigrants headed by “an independent professional of highest integrity who is not involved in politics and consisting of senior government servants, corporate figures, academics, law association representatives, state attorney-general, etc”.
It concluded: “With such a body, we are confident that the illegal immigrant problems and related matters plaguing Sabah can be resolved and that sense of gloom we referred to earlier, be erased forever.”
- More stories on the RCI report
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