Sabah Umno liaison deputy chief Salleh Said Keruak has challenged opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to tell the truth about the illegal immigrants to the royal commission of inquiry (RCI) tasked with looking into the long-standing problem in the state.
He asserted that Anwar (above) was duty-bound to do so as he was deputy prime minister at that particular period, adding that "he was a powerful man and knew what was going on in Sabah".
"Don't be a hypocrite, perhaps with the inside knowledge, Anwar can help shed some light... so tell the truth to RCI.
"He must not play politics. At least Najib Abdul Razak, our prime minister is prepared to seek the truth and approved the formation of RCI to identify the roots of the problem.
"We should not come into a conclusion and blame certain parties just because of statements by few ex-Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees.
"We should let RCI complete its works... What we want is a permanent solution," he told Bernama after attending a meet-the-people session at SK Sembirai, near Kota Belud today.
In this respect, Salleh, who is also state legislative assembly speaker, said the people should praise and support Najib for his bold move to form the RCI.
"Once RCI completes its task then the government will study and act on it accordingly to resolve the matter once and for all.
"Those who were qualified and obtained their citizenship through proper procedure should not be punished and those who obtained it through illegal or dubious means must have their citizensip revoked. That should be the way," he said.
Expressing confidence that the illegal immigrants' problem would be resolved by the government under Najib, Salleh (left) said genuine Sabahans must be patient to wait for a permanent solution.
The setting up of the RCI and appointment of its chairman and members was announced by the Prime Minister Menteri on Aug 11 last year to solve the problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah.
The hearing of the proceedings was headed by former chief justice of Sabah and Sarawak Steve Shim Lip Kiong.
The panelists were Universiti Malaysia Sabah ex-vice chancellor Kamaruzaman Ampon, Kuala Lumpur ex-police chief Henry Chin Poy Wu, former Sabah state secretary Kee Mustafa and ex-deputy chief minister and former state attorney-general Herman J Luping.
Subsequent proceedings would be held on Jan 29 till Feb 1 and from Feb 22 till Feb 27.