: The delay in implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Illegal Immigrants in Sabah does not mean that the federal government is not serious in resolving the matter.
In this regard, the people in Sabah should not be worried, said Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) secretary general Datuk Johnny Mositun.
In a statement Wednesday, he explained that the delay was due to the need for a comprehensive and effective plan of action to resolve a complicated problem dating back several decades, "an inherited problem that doesn't lend itself to any hasty or knee-jerk solution".
He noted that the people in Sabah wanted a quick solution to the problem, that their impatience over the delay in implementing the RCI recommendations was understandable.
"But it is not fair to blame its Working Committee chairman, Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan or PBS for not doing anything to see these recommendations implemented soon enough.
"It is just not right to point accusations at PBS and Tan Sri Joseph because the RCI Working Committee he chaired was formed by the Federal Government and had nothing to do with PBS or any individual political party. That Tan Sri Joseph is also PBS president is a coincidence, that's all," he said.
Mositun also rejected charges by critics of the government that the RCI was merely a BN gimmick and that the federal government was not serious about resolving the problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah.
He said Parti Warisan deputy president Darrel Leiking, despite being well-educated and quite knowledgeable about government matters, chose to play up the issue because he knew it struck a chord with the people in Sabah and leaders and followers of opposition parties and groups "that usually sprout up like mushrooms at election time".
"But PBS knows for a fact that the main committee chaired by the DPM has made a thorough study of the recommendations and drawn input from the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies that will have to implement the RCI recommendations," he said.
He said PBS had no wish to pre-empt Datuk Seri Dr Zahid Hamidi on the matter but added that PBS acting president, Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili had been liaising with the federal cabinet and the Home minister over the matter to have it expedited.
"All I will say at this juncture is that Sabahans will hear from Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi himself soon about the matter. Of that I am confident. The opposition can speculate and disparage the BN, but we in PBS know that both the State and Federal authorities have been doing their work quietly and without fanfare," he said.
Mositun told PBS divisional leaders and members not to believe in the opposition's claims of being strong enough to topple the BN.
"That is all empty rhetoric. They are not even united among themselves. They are arguing over almost everything, taking pot shots at each other, jumping from one party to another in search of positions and improving their chances of being nominated as candidates, and unable to form a credible alliance even among themselves," he added.