Surprisingly no political parties within BN or the opposition have sent representatives to be among those posing questions in the ongoing RCI.
By Richard Libun Adou, FMT
After attending two days of the proceedings of the ongoing Royal Commision of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants in Sabah, I observed quite a number of shortcomings in terms of participation in the inquiry process, i.e. on the way it is conducted.
It is very clear that these shortcomings seriously hinder the original purpose of the RCI which is to seek the truth for the sake of justice.
The RCI is being carried out to enable a panel to hear witnesses’ testimonies as well as to question and dig for deeper information from them. Lawyers (including from the Sabah Law Association or SLA) and members of political parties have been given the opportunity to pose their own questions.
So other than members of the RCI panel, several lawyers have been authorised to pose more questions to those making testimonies for the purpose of clarification and obtaining of more details.
What I find wanting is that the political parties such as Umno, MCA, PBS, PBRS, Upko, STAR, Sapp and other parties have not sent their representatives to be among those who could pose such queries.
It is a wonder why these parties, after making such loud noises about the issue of illegal immigrants all these while, have not pursued or even clamoured for participation in the RCI proceeding.
I however applaud Ansari Abdullah, James Ghani and the SLA representative for being active in posing very good and relevant questions.
I suspect one or two of these political parties are afraid to be in the proceeding because some of their leaders maybe identified by witnesses as the culprits or perpetrators of the illegal immirants problem in Sabah.
I am also flabbergasted that Joseph Pairin Kitingan (PBS president) had made a statement asking people not to make any comments on the RCI testimonies until the whole process of over.
I find his remark to be reflective of his cowardice in the issue. His statement has disappointed a lot of the people, especially the KadazanDusunMuruts (KDMs).
Why reject Suhakam?
Many are questioning his motive in making such a call when there is much worry among his people about this mother-of-all-problems.
In the matter of those giving testimonies many people who can present their cases have been excluded and deprived of their opportunity to speak up.
Our biggest loss is the absence of Suhakam in the list of those testifying.
I have been made to understand that Suhakam requested to contribute in the matter. Its offer to pose questions was rejected for unknown reasons.
Also the number of individuals from the public allowed to pose questions are limited.
The RCI should allow more people the opportunity to pose questions.
We can now only imagine what great revelations Suhakam could have offered the world on their own findings about the illegal immigrants issue. Suhakam, as we know, is the main body dealing with matters of human rights in Malaysia and has stacks of filed reports on the issue.
Why was Suhakam rejected? Who were the parties privy to the surprising rejection?
Is the RCI also practicing “selective witnessing”? Even the Kota Kinabalu DAP Member of Parliament, was reportedly rejected.
I also noticed that the SLA is not serious in its participation. Its representative missed one Thursday afternoon session of the inquiry and no one was sent as a temporary replacement.