KOTA KINABALU, Nov 2, 2015:

Opposition leaders in Sabah want more than just a mandate to solve the state’s long battle with the large presence of illegal immigrants.

PKR vice-president Darell Leiking said apart from the mandate, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should just decentralise all powers on immigration to the Sabah government once and for all.

“This mean the Sabah government will have the power regarding births and registration of citizens in Sabah. Let Sabah exercise its own decision as to the future of Sabah,” he told The Rakyat Post today.

Najib, who came to officiate the Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah’s (PBRS) triennial delegates conference here yesterday, had given Sabah the mandate to come up with a solution to address the illegal immigrant issue in the state.

“Discuss at the state level among the Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties first, then give me the solution.

“The problem with the presence of illegal immigrants in Sabah has been identified, but seek a solution that can put Sabah in a better situation because the state’s potential is huge.

“If we can reduce this problem, guarantee the security in the state and reduce politicking, we will be able to move forward,” said Najib.

Leiking noted that the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI), which led to the formation of a technical committee to find solutions on the illegal immigrants in Sabah, had long been held but despite the many recommendations given, nothing concrete had materialised so far.

“The illegal immigrant problem continues and, in fact, the number of Pakistanis is growing more by the day. They are getting braver and ignore our law which our government has failed to enforce.

“The irony is that we have BN MPs demanding this and that, yet praising the same government they criticise.

“I think enough of that and no more bogey man by blaming West Malaysians.

“Blame ourselves if we fail to address Sabah’s immigration and IC (identity card) scandal.

“Hence a full decentralisation of all these powers on immigration, security, birth, citizenship and deaths is necessary for Sabah to dealt with it,” said Leiking.

He said the Prime Minister could say all he wanted but without real decentralisation of powers, nothing would come out of it, citing RCI as an example.

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee also told The Rakyat Post that he believed that the whole “mandate drama” was just another typical dilly-dallying method, as though the problem was new.

“The Prime Minister’s statement is just like thunder, but no rain. We’re going around in circles.

“After the RCI, the technical committee at the Sabah level needed to pass (recommendations) to the main committee at the federal level.

“Now, PM is passing it back to Sabah.

“I just feel it’s like a merry-go-round, passing parcel and the last one holds the hot potato,” said Yong, stressing that a concrete solution was vital before “real Sabahans” lost their identity.

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