Submission of RCI’s TOR maybe pointless
We are facing an impossible situation – impossible because the RCI won’t be completed and the electoral rolls won’t be cleaned up before the general election comes!

Daniel John Jambun

Eventually the BN Sabah Sub-Committee on Citizenship (SCC) sat down to prepare the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the long-demanded Royal commission if Inquiry (RCI)!
But it look quite obvious that the meeting was held only in response to Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz’s announcement that KL was still waiting for the TOR from Sabah! If not why didn’t Tan Sri Pairin have this meeting since last year soon after he was appointed to head the SCC? Why didn’t the idea of the TOR even arise until much later? Was it because there was neglect, hence there was no meeting or consultations on the matter? If not, why did everyone expect the Prime Minister to announce that RCI and then when this didn’t transpire, then the big idea of the TOR came up as an excuse for the delay?
The fact is if Putrajaya was serious about carrying out the RCI it could just be announced and the TOR can be done later as part of the process of inquiry! This is all just lame excuses, diversions and delaying tactics! In fact we shouldn’t be surprised if after this, Nazri would respond by saying more work need to be done on the TOR as it doesn’t cover other matters such economics, welfare and long-term impact, etc. etc. It can be turned into an academic ball kicking which could delay the RCI indefinitely!
Several questions also have to be asked following Pairin’s announcement which I feel was long on words but short on substance. Firstly, he said that they “will have a joint listing of the TOR to be submitted to the top leadership to consider and adopt anyone of those TOR.” By this, did he mean the SCC will just accept only a few of the items on the TOR? If so, the RCI will possibly be just be a sham, an exercise, an eyewash?
It is comforting that Pairin assured “We have all this in mind (law enforcement, illegal issuance of documents, rectification of procedures, etc) which obviously must be formed with immediate effect.” But when he said “We are suggesting to see results for the short term within 6 months and do the longer term two years” we realise we are facing an impossible situation – impossible because the RCI won’t be completed and the electoral rolls won’t be cleaned up before the general election comes!
So we are left with the depressing reality that all the phantom voters (voters using dead peoples’ names) and illegal immigrant voters will be free to vote in the GE13 which is expected in June! Pairin himself said that “The truth about Projek IC… what we would like RCI to do is to look into the truth of the many queries raised by the public and the MPs.” But what is the use if the RCI will take up to two years? By 2014, the talk will be about the GE14, and for all we know the RCI will still be purposely dragging its feet.
If BN is really serious about the RCI then is should be expedited, completed and the recommendation implemented before GE13, and GE13 can be delayed until next year. If parliament is allowed to expire without being dissolved election can be held six months after that. But we can expect that after the eventual submission of the TOR, KL may just sit on it and come up with creative excuses as to why it is “still in process.”
STAR Sabah Deputy Chairman and Advisor for the UK-Based Human Rights Foundation Malaysia