Monday, July 7, 2008


Najib right person to head illegals committee


Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok has dismissed claims that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is not the right person to head the Federal Cabinet Committee on Illegal Immigrants in Sabah. “Najib has been appointed by the Cabinet to look after this. I have no qualms over his qualifications to head the Committee,” Dompok told reporters after officiating the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Kadazandusun Ivlurut Organization (UPKO) Moyog divisional triennial general meeting here yesterday. He was commenting on the proposal by former Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) Supreme Council Member Dr Chong Eng Leong for him (Dompok) to head the high-powered committee set up to address the illegal immigrants problem in Sabah. Chong proposed that Najib be replaced by Dompok to head the Committee, saying the Deputy Prime Minister “may not be in a proper frame of mind to chair the panel” due to the various events occurring lately. Dompok who is also the UPKO President in expressing his confidence, pointed out that Najib would be able to lead the Committee as the latter had ‘a lifetime of experience to call upon and will be able to focus on the Committee’. On comments that Najib may be too busy to carry out his responsibility, Dompok said, “There is no such things as having no time. There is time management... how you manage your time and I’m sure if he has no time, he won’t accept it”. When asked to comment on a request by Philippine Undersecretary for Migrant Affairs Esteban Conejos that Malaysia grant permanent residency (PR) to Filipinos who had been living for so long in the country, Dompok said it was not the proper way to do it. “Things like this should not even arise because the PR status is granted to applicants from time to time and that is the approach. “You cannot have a special ‘fast lane’ or green lane for the illegal immigrants in Sabah. Everybody has to go through the proper channel,” he said, adding that there were applications for PR which were still pending nearly 20 years after their submission. “I have friends in that category and I think everybody should follow the same route to permanent residency in Sabah and Malaysia,” he added.

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