Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Call to let independent person head Cabinet Committee


Veteran politician Fredoline Lojingki has suggested that an independent person be appointed to head the high-powered Cabinet Committee formed to solve the illegal immigrants problem in Sabah. “Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is already burdened with other duties in his capacity as Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, so he may not be able to concentrate fully on the task at hand,” Lojingki said in a statement on Sunday. According to him, it would be better to appoint an individual who is without prejudice in the matter to head the committee so that all investigations and proceedings will be conducted freely. The individual must also be someone with integrity, he said when commenting on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s announcement on the setting up of a high- powered Cabinet Committee, chaired by Najib to discuss and solve the illegal immigrants problem in Sabah. The committee comprising several Sabah leaders would seek solutions to the problem, particularly foreigners holding the ‘1MM13’ document in lieu of passport issued by the Immigration Department to Filipino refugees which permits them to stay in Sabah, Abdullah told reporters after meeting State Government leaders and senior Government officials here last Saturday. Lojingki also questioned the Federal Government’s hesitance to set up the Royal Commission of Inquiry to look into the perennial problem affecting the State. “This hesitance can be seen as though illegal immigrants are encouraged to come to Sabah,” he said, adding that there is no benefit in setting up another committee to address the problem.