Monday, May 26, 2008


Step up enforcement raids on illegal immigrant: Pairin


Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan yesterday asked the Police and Immigration to step up enforcement raids on illegal immigrants in Sabah to guarantee locals’ safety. He said since the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry or a select committee to deal with the perennial problem in Sabah would take time, the Police and Immigration were vested with adequate powers to arrest the illegals. “Regardless of whether a Royal Commission of Inquiry or a select committee is established to deal with the problem, Police and Immigration operations to nab the illegals should continue and in fact, be intensified,” he told reporters after attending a culinary contest to mark Kaamatan festival end of this month. “Many people in Sabah are anxious to see a Royal Commission of Inquiry set up to address the illegal immigrants’ issue in the State. In fact, the request was made long ago. The proposal to establish a Parliamentary select committee also has its advantages. “But what is my fervent hope now is for the security forces, which have the powers to tackle the problem, to step up enforcement and act immediately,” said Pairin who is also Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) President. Kimanis Member of Parliament Datuk Anifah Aman proposed in the Dewan Rakyat on Friday that a Parliamentary select committee on illegal immigrants be set up to resolve the long-standing problem in Sabah. DAP Adviser Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) felt that establishing Royal Commission of Inquiry to deal with the problem would be a better option. To this, Pairin said: “To me, whether a select committee or a commission is formed is not a problem. We already have laws in place on illegal immigrants. “What’s important is that we must be really serious in protecting our citizens and sovereignty of our country,” he said. he also suggested the manpower strength and allocations for enforcement agencies be increased for the country to have a bigger capacity in law enforcement. - Bernama