The RCI will be the powder keg of the issue that will blow Umno and Barisan Nasional to pieces in Sabah.
The majority have suddenly found themselves to be marginalised and diluted. It has come to that because BN and its surrogate partners in Sabah want to subjugate the people of Sabah.
Sabahans better wake up – this issue is about the sovereignty of your state.
When Sabah and Sarawak became part of Malaysia, it was promised that Sabah and Sarawak shall not surrender their sovereignty.
That promise has been abused and Sabah has lost its sovereignty.
Sabah is part of Malaysia, so why should it be given sovereignty? Sovereignty is a right owned by an independent nation.
Borneo was an independent nation having separate identity from Malaya then. It can exercise its sovereignty because it was promised so.
Otherwise, the entry of Borneo into Malaysia was just part of the neo-colonialism that so rankled (Indonesia’s) Sukarno when Malaysia was about to emerge.
Only now Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak wants to address the issue.
Even then, as he announced yet another of his laundry list of initiatives, former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad is already hitting out at him. The Royal Commission Inquiry (RCI), Mahathir says, is a waste of time.
He says these illegal immigrants deserve to become Malaysian citizens because they have stayed here long enough and can speak Malay.
Mahathir is admitting that it was he who started the Project IC simply because he wanted to alter the demographics in Sabah.
Sabah poorest state, not Kelantan
His purpose was to ensure Umno and its surrogate allies in Sabah remain in power.
Umno and BN have ruled Sabah for so many years. Yet the state remains at the bottom of the prosperity ladder.
Each year we hear of gargantuan allocations to develop Sabah. But where has the money gone? The money has allegedly gone into the pockets of the Umno and BN elites who constitute probably 5% of the Sabah population.
Sabah is one of the states in Malaysia that has oil, yet it remains one of the poorest.
Mind you, it’s not Kelantan that is the poorest state, it’s Sabah which is under Umno and BN rule.
The rule of thumb then is, whenever Umno and BN rule, the state becomes impoverished. If it is not yet impoverished, it becomes a piggy-bank for Umno and BN and then ends up poor.
So Najib’s terms of reference for the RCI on illegal Sabah immigrants is just a political ruse.
First, the RCI will have six months to do the job. The immediate step is to exclude those who got IC through the project from voting in the 13th general election.
These people shouldn’t be difficult to identify. Under the Najib initiative, there will be no report until about March 2013 and no action a few months after March 2013.
By that time, the election will be over. The inclusion of the over two million illegal immigrants in the electoral roles would have had the desired effect on the electoral results, which is to help BN win illegally in Sabah.
The writer is a former Umno state assemblyman but joined DAP earlier this year. He is a FMT columnist.