Sunday October 14, 2012
Deal can curb migrant influx
By MUGUNTAN VANAR and RAZAK AHMAD
KOTA KINABALU: The peace deal between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will help resolve the illegal immigrant problem, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The Prime Minister said the instability in Mindanao had led to its people coming to Sabah.
“We have played a role as peace facilitator and if we help in the development of Mindanao, it will have a positive impact on the region and Sabah,” Najib said at the ground-breaking ceremony of the RM35mil Sabah Native Court Institution building and the opening of the RM9.05mil Inobong bridge in Penampang here yesterday.
Najib is on a two-day visit to the state before heading to Manila today to witness the signing of the peace deal tomorrow.
“The Royal Commission of Inquiry on illegal immigrants is another step towards resolving the illegal immigrant problem,” he said at the ground-breaking ceremony, which was also attended by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok.
Najib and Philippines President Benigno Aquino III are expected to witness the signing of the peace deal at Malacanang Palace at 1.30pm tomorrow.
Najib's visit to the Philippines will be his first as Prime Minister. He will be accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
The Prime Minister is also scheduled to hold a private meeting with Aquino at the palace.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahidi Hamidi are also expected to be present during the signing.
Najib and Rosmah are scheduled to attend a reception with the Malaysian community in Manila later in the evening.
Both sides have reportedly expressed hope that a final peace settlement can be reached by 2016 before Aquino's term ends.
By then, the two sides are expected to have reached agreement on the scope of the Bangsamoro autonomous region and hold a plebiscite.
Malaysia played a key role in facilitating the peace talks and also contributed to the peace efforts by participating in the International Monitoring Team alongside Indonesia, Brunei, Japan, Libya, Norway and the European Union.