The RCI report was released on Wednesday.
In Berita Harian today, we only read on the whereabout to get the report and it's price. Getting a copy is quite a task, yet many were already with their criticism, particularly opposition leaders on that Wednesday itself.
It is impossible for them to finish reading, comprehend it's content and comment on the thick more than 350 pages report in a matter of hours or minutes.
That is unless they have closed their mind to the fact gathered by the RCI and are dead-set to brand the guilty party without any need for proof to convince otherwise. If that is the case, what is the point of having the RCI?
The panel on RCI were independent and had the integrity. Prior to the RCI hearing, there was no objection raised on the panel members by any parties.
The least they should do is to read it first.
Bersih 2.0 criticised Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail and Chief Secretary Dato Dr Ali Hamsa for allegedly trying to downplay the results. [Read MMO here].
They opposed the conclusion read by Ali Hamsa that there were no political moves in the illegal issuance of IC but was more of corrupt practices.
For an NGO that did not exist in 1991, they were taking a line concurrent with the original complainant from PBS that it was political.
PBS believed that the manipulation of voter rollcall lead to the downfall of PBS government and they have not budge from that line of thinking [read The Star here and here].
DAP MP for KK, Jimmy Wong called it "totally rubbish" for not concluding there was political motive. [Read MI here].
He should comment on the fairly large number of Chinese that was issued IC during the period. Maybe not, it will disapprove his political conspiracy.
Fellow comrade DAP MP for Penampang, Darrell Leiking called it a whitewash.
Although an RCI is the usual DAP demand to any of their contention, Darrel now asked that it be deliberated in Parliament [Read in FMT here]. Then what?
Ask for another committee till someone say political motive. It is like DAP got the Court of Appeal to request police to investigate the Teoh Beng Hock death. They must be hoping a corrupt cop in JSJ will eventually conclude as murder.
The attitude to blame someone as guilty and the intention to blame the Federal Government is obvious despite there is no conclusive proof and there are two sides to the coin.
What more, five people were held under ISA for their involvement in the illegal conduct and breach of national security. [Read Rakyat Post here]
Lawyers for Liberty also swayed their opinions in favour of the existence of "Project IC". They welcome the establishment of a Permanent Secretariat to address the pressing matters. [Read in FMT here].
It is more positive than Bersih 2.0 call to drag the matter to court [read Rakyat Post here] and nothing get solved.
NST reported the RCI's intention of the report. Read below:
RCI not be-all and end-all to immigrant issuesSince it involves government and authorities, Sabah Movement for Change chairman and opposition opposition, Datuk Seri Wilfred M. Bumburing took a natural sceptical stance to not see any improvement even with recommendations in the report. [Read MI here']
By B.Suresh Ram - 3 December 2014 @ 5:58 PM
KUALA LUMPUR: The Royal Commission of Inquiry on Immigrants in Sabah says that the power to translate its recommendations lies with the relevant authorities.
It did not state who these relevant authorities in the postscript of the report which was made public today.
“Many people in Sabah seem to perceive the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) as the be-all and end-all to the illegal immigrant problems confronting the state. With respect, we think this is a misconception. The RCI is bound by the Terms of Reference. We can only inquire, make findings and thereafter present recommendations to the relevant authorities. Very much depends on the authorities concerned. The power to translate the recommendations into action lies with them,” the report stated.
The report in Bahasa Malaysia was 427 pages and the English version was 368 pages was made public in Kota Kinabalu.
The commission also said that it was aware that some of the evidence disclosed to the RCI maybe considered sensitive by some quarters.
“However, we think that such evidence has to be viewed against the backdrop of events and circumstances of the period when abuses and / or illegal activities relating to the widespread issuance of Malaysian identification documents (ICs) to immigrants / foreigners, were alleged to have occurred in the state of Sabah,” the report added.
The commission said that it was a period in which syndicates and individuals aided by or in complicity with corrupt officials, had taken advantage of a weak institutionalised citizenship system compounded by the huge numbers of immigrants / foreigners for monetary gain.
“It was also a period which saw the emergence of an alleged project called “Project IC” with corrosive political agenda.
In short, it was a period of heightened nefarious activities that had precipitated and accelerated the influx of illegal immigrants into the state,” it said.
The report added that Sabah now suffers the cumulative spill-over effects of that period.
“We believe that lessons can be learnt from history. All it takes is the political will. There is a need to take bold and decisive steps for an integrated, comprehensive and sustained policy of action.
That of course, is the prerogative of the government and the authorities. It is not a matter within the remit of this Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI),” it said.
Minister for Urban Well Being, Housing and Local Government and MP for Kota Belud, Dato Abdul Rahman Dahlan drew mixed response in his twitter when he called for practical solution.
In other words, he means let's stop finger pointing and move forward. [Read Astro here]. He also has basis to ask Sabahans to stop living in "false comfort" to overrely on foreign labours.
Rahman added on the need for a "prosper thy neighbour" policy to bring peace in the area [Read MMO here].
Federal Minister, Dato Shafie Apdal was rather non-commital and taking a politically safe stance. He asked for agencies to be more careful [read MMO here]. It is to consider the feeling of his fellow Bajau Laut which roams the sea from Phillipines to Sabah.
SAPP President, Dato Yong Teck Lee called for the illegally issued IC's to be made void. [read The Star here]. That had been his campaign stance leading to GE13.
If he had read the full report, he would have given a smarter comment. After penalising the IC holders and turn them stateless, what about the problem of the off-springs?
If born in Malaysia, they may have a right to be Malaysians.
The attitude to penalise and blame, worse still before reading the report, has not been good. It undermined Dato Najib's sincere intentions to set any possible wrongdoings of the past..Maybe government should stop playing to the gallery with these RCIs.
For this RCI, they only repeat accusation based on their pre-conceived notions. In the RCI on judiciary, it was made into a joke without any proofs worthy to be brought before any courts.
There were no attitude to appreciate the Government positive response to form the RCI and the appointment of former Sabah Chief Minister and current Deputy Chief Minister, Tan Sri Pairin Kitingan to head the special committee tasked.
If such is the intention, the blame game should be done in court. That way Government do not need to spend money to gather fact. The accusers can bring their own proofs and test in a court of law.
The court of law is unlike a court of public opinion, where the "Jeffrey Kitingan"s can lie, fabricate evidences and spin arguments. Their proofs will be thoroughly tested.
However, it is time consuming. Problems arising cannot get solved.
Government is right. RCI must be more than just about blaming anybody but to solve the problems too.