Make public 5,000 missing pages of Sabah RCI report, PH urged

Former attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail (left) and former chief secretary to the government Ali Hamsa with copies of the RCI Report on Illegal Immigrants in 2014. (Bernama pic)

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) today called on the government to immediately release the 5,000 missing pages which were omitted from the RCI Report on Illegal Immigrants by the previous government.

SAPP vice-president Gee Tien Siong said DAP leaders, who are now top leaders in both the federal and Sabah governments, had complained the 5,000 pages of evidence presented to the RCI panel during the public hearings in 2012 and 2013 were not included in the RCI report.

The RCI report was released on Dec 3, 2014.

“DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang was the one making the most noise about the missing 5,000 pages,” he said in a statement today.

As the DAP was now one of the most powerful parties in the Pakatan Harapan government, it should immediately cause the release of the 5,000 missing pages, he said.

Gee said if the 5,000 pages were released, the people would know more about what happened between the 1970s and 2014 and they would then be able to deal with Sabah’s illegal immigrant problem.

Yong Teck Lee.

Meanwhile, in another statement, SAPP president Yong Teck Lee said the proposed special pass for 600,000 migrants must be called off until the government gave cogent and clear reasons for introducing the pass.

Additionally, the government must also state clearly who will be given the pass and the conditions attached.

“This is because the unconvincing and confusing announcement about the pass has caused alarm among the people. The government must not rush into a programme to legalise illegals which can cause worries and dismay among Malaysians,” he said.

He recalled that the Sabah government had, in 1996, called off the proposed Cross Border Pass because its premature announcement (of the pass for Filipinos) had caused public alarm.

He said the then federal and Sabah governments later introduced the Regularisation Programme for Foreign Workers but only while illegal immigrants were being deported.

Holders of IMM13 were allowed to remain as they were granted exemption from the passport requirement in the 1970s under the Immigration Act.

He said while IMM13 was a one-off exercise to cater to “war refugees”, the Surat Burung Burung and census papers, which were issued in the 1980s, were irrelevant and could not be used as a legal basis for holders to remain in Malaysia.

He said Muhyiddin had referred to the RCI report on illegal immigrants published in 2014 when talking about the need for the special pass..

“Today, the Chief Minister came up with another reason for the pass. He said it is to stem the reverse flow of foreign workers from Sabah to Kalimantan due to the expected economic expansion at Kalimantan when the new Indonesian capital is moved there.

“This ‘Kalimantan reason’ is an afterthought because the idea of the Indonesian capital in Kalimantan came about only very recently.

“What the people of Sabah want is to stem the influx of illegals into Sabah. Instead, this government is trying to stem the outflow of illegals and foreign workers to Kalimantan. This is a funny way of combating illegal immigration into Sabah,” he said.

Yong, who is a former chief minister, said the figure of 600,000 given for those with IMM13, Surat Burung Burung, and census cards was too big to be accurate.

“This is because the original IMM13 card holders number only 60,000. These are the original refugees fleeing the war in the Southern Philippines.

“Forty-five years later today, some of these 60,000 have returned to the Philippines, some have become Malaysian citizens, some have migrated to Peninsular Malaysia and some have died.

“As for the Kad Burung Burung (issued during the Berjaya era) and the Census papers (issued during the PBS era), these papers overlap with each other and are not immigration or citizenship documents.

“Some other foreigners have passports and work permits. The bottom line is that the 600,000 intended holders of the special pass is too huge to be real,” he said.