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Pairin can’t solve illegals problem with his committee

By Daniel John Jambun
It has been said that we shouldn’t have too many ambitions; we might achieve them! And Tan Sri Pairin’s appointment as head of the Sabah Committee on illegal immigrants is certainly case in which he got more than what he asked for. He had given the government until 2012 to solve the illegals problem, and now, as if to oversatisfy him, the government has given him the whip and said, “Now, it’s all yours.”
Which is not exactly a course for celebration, because the job he is given is impossible to do! The task at hand is a huge one, like a monster which had grown for 40 years, and he is expected to kill it within a few months. But can he? He might be a deputy chief minister, but how much can the committee do to solve the illegals problem? We know that the state had several committees already since the last few decades formed under the State Security Committee which was headed by the Chief Minister. Pairin as a former head of the State Security Committee must know very well that it is a very ineffective committee.
He has to ask what is it that he can do that has not been done already? The scenario is most probably one in which the committee members will comprise political leaders and heads of various relevant departments, including representatives from the police. These people are already terribly bogged down by endless meetings in a dozen or two other committees of various types. So how much can they do initially other than to go into another round of paperwork, collecting statistics (which are unreliable), assess (again) the status quo, and records details of various aspects of the problem. This alone will require the setting up of a permanent working unit which will function as a secretariat, just to receive and process the data and compile reports. By the time the work begins it will be time for the general election, in which case the committee will be abandoned. The whole thing is definitely a sham, a farce that is being choreographed as a shadow play to pull wool over our eyes.
The job is an insult to Pairin knowing that he was a former Chief Minister of a ruling party (PBS) which was brought down ignominiously through power plays with the help of the votes of phantom voters. And those people involved in the issuance of ICs are a former Prime Minister, tun Mahathir, and the Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Aman. There was a whole conspiracy to use the immigrants to kill off PBS to wipe off the majority position of the KDMs in Sabah. This is no fanciful thinking because this is now general knowledge, with many reports and visible proofs everywhere. And now, Pairin is humble and soft enough to come back to supposedly solve the problem as it is as easy as sweeping the floor. Umno leaders must be giggling, amused to no end, seeing Pairin bending over to do their bidding.
The other dilemma facing Pairin is that, since he is now appointed to the responsibility, the state BN (or rather Umno) leadership can now say, if you fail to solve the problem, you will have nobody else to blame except yourself. Umno gave him an impossible task because that way Umno leaders can later accuse him of failing in his responsibility, and Umno will be able to wash their hands off the responsibility. Very clever. And they know Pairin wouldn’t be daring enough to say, I won’t do it because it can’t be done unless by a royal commission of inquiry. He is too obedient to Umno to put his foot down even in this situation when he is already guaranteed to fail! It’s a classic Catch 22 situation for Pairin.
For how can he ever hope to solve the illegals problem without any power to arrest and deport? Will he be able to command the army and the police to act and make a sweeping arrest of the illegals throughout the state within a week? I seriously doubt this power and assignment will be in the list of terms of reference of his appointment. It has been quite about a week after the announcement of his appointment but we have not heard any news of the committee being formed, about who the committee members are and what are the objectives and rough modus operandi. If Pairin was more pro-active he would have made an announcement by now, at least to give us some sort of confidence.
What Pairin needs to do, as a leader with character, is to show his mettle and not bow down to bullying. He must not go into a political acting mode and pretend he will be able to rid the state of illegals. He must say, “Sorry fellows, this is not right. The best and fastest way to solve the problem is through an RCI, and not through anything else.” It’s high time he as the Huguan Siou stopped playing the nice guy when his people are drowning under the weight of illegals.

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