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RCI A Cover-Up to Absolve Wrong-Doers?

Kota Kinabalu:    “It is now clear that the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Illegal Immigrants in Sabah (RCI) was nothing more than a political gimmick for GE-13 to hoodwink Sabahans to vote Umno/BN and a manipulated cover-up to absolve the federal government, its leaders and the political party referred to in the RCI from Project IC " said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief, commenting on release of the much delayed and much awaited RCI Report.                                         

Even in releasing the RCI Report, the Chief Secretary to the Government deemed it fit to play politics, and taken log stock and barrel by the government-controlled media, that “Project IC” Did Not Exist” when it was clear that the RCI specifically made a finding that Project IC probably existed.

Faced with a potential revolt by PBS and a loss in the then pending GE-13, PM Najib relented with the set-up of the RCI in a face-saving political gimmick.

The insincerity of the federal government was clear from the outset with the formation of the RCI and the delay in setting out the Terms of Reference (TOR).   And when the TOR was announced, it only reinforced the view that the RCI was just a whitewash to pacify angry Sabahans including the President of PBS who had issued an ultimatum that if the issue of illegal immigrants was not resolved, PBS would act.

Now that the Report of the RCI has it released, the government has deemed it not to be a “Royal Commission” but a mere “Commission of Enquiry”.   Such is the insincerity of the federal government.

All 8 terms of the TOR were investigative except for the 5th term which required the RCI to recommend any amendment or change to strengthen and improve the standard operating procedures, rules and regulations in relation to the issuance of blue identification card or citizenship to immigrants in Sabah. 

None of the other 7 terms required or empowered the RCI to make any recommendations.  If it was so empowered, probability the RCI would have make much wider and more comprehensive recommendations than the setting up of a permanent secretariat to study the findings of the RCI and propose recommendations which needs to be taken in the context of its power of recommendation under the 5th term.

Despite its limited scope and lack of pursuit of the truth by the parties involved, it is important to note that the RCI made 2 very substantive and damning findings, namely:
(1)  there was an issuance of at least 67,675 blue ICs to illegal immigrants and the granting of citizenship to at least 68,703 foreigners and concluded that the exact numbers could not be determined by the RCI; and
(2)    there was an undetermined number of these illegal immigrants entered nto the electoral rolls.  

Of course, the numbers cannot be ascertained by the RCI as there was a lack of effort and political will to present all evidence before the RCI.   In reality, the number is at least 1.5 to 1.7 million ICs dubiously issued based on the population census in 2010.  

Based on the GE13 electoral rolls, the number of dubious voters is at least 250,000 to 300,000 out of a total of 982,337 registered voters in Sabah.

Yet, despite the finding by the RCI that the number of illegal voters cannot be determined, the federal Attorney General, who is incidentally a Sabahan, chose to opine and brush aside that the number of voters involved would not affect any election results.   He probably forgot that in the 1994 Sabah state elections, which was marginally won by PBS 25 to 23 BN included several seats with less than 100-200 vote margins won by BN and BN took over the government 2 weeks later aided by several defections from PBS.

However, the RCI’s opinion that the government and political parties were not involved in Project IC which probably occurred was a laughable and feeble attempt to absolve the federal government and past leaders and Umno who had set up a membership recruitment high-level taskforce with leading senior Umno leaders, some of whom are still in government.  

That opinion was totally unsupported by any evidence and runs contrary to tons of evidence presented.  It is unbelievable that a syndicate aided by corrupt officials could have gotten away with such treacherous, treasonous and traitorous issuance of ICs.   Then there were also the evidence of illegals being entered into the electoral rolls and of the giving of actual voters data to enable foreigners to vote.    The alleged corrupt officials at JPN were not also Election Commission officials and this was not considered when the RCI opined that the government was not implicated.

The lame excuse that the RCI was not empowered under the TOR to go after the culprits responsible for the issuance of fake or dubious ICs and MyKads in Sabah only goes to clear wrong-doers of illegal issuance of ICs and entry of phantom voters, which are in the minds of Sabahans.  

Other than its two findings which is only a mild acknowledgement of the true numbers and which everyone in Sabah already know, no one in Sabah believes the RCI Report.   Sabahans everywhere are now even angrier against the federal government for the cover-up.

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