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Thread: Governance: RCI on Illegal Immigrants

  1. #21
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    Oct 2008

    EC chief: No comment for now on RCI proceedings

    • 1:33PM Jan 17, 2013

    The Election Commission (EC) will not comment on the proceedings of the royal commission of inquiry (RCI) on immigrants in Sabah until it is concluded.

    EC chairperson Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said he has been given legal advice that doing otherwise would be in contempt of the RCI proceedings.

    "The EC will be called before the RCI sometime in February, so it is not proper for me to comment on the proceedings (while ongoing). It will be contempt of court.

    "Let the RCI do its work until the end and (disclose) the findings. Then, I think, it is proper for the EC to respond," Abdul Aziz said when contacted by telephone today.

    He also noted that close to 200 witnesses would be called to testify before the RCI.

    Nevertheless, Abdul Aziz said, the EC was currently registering voters in accordance with due process, unlike what had allegedly taken place more than 20 years ago.

    The inquiry, now into its fourth day, was told by senior Sabah National Registration Department (NRD) officers that they were instructed to facilitate immigrants to vote in the state elections in the 1990s.
    The former officers, who were involved in the operation, testified yesterday that they provided immigrants with identity card receipts of existing voters or blue identity cards to unqualified immigrants so that they could be registered as voters.

    The EC deputy chief Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, when contacted, also declined to comment on the revelations for fear it may upset the ongoing RCI proceedings.

    "My stand is clear, the RCI is now being heard and I cannot make any comments on the revelations made, or any matter related to the ongoing hearing. It is improper for me to comment, as EC may be called," he said.

    He also refused to divulge details on whether he would be called into RCI.


  2. #22
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    Oct 2008

    Dr M: Yes, Filipinos given citizenship, it was all legal

    • 6:28PM Jan 17, 2013

    Former prime minister Mahathir Mohammad said there were indeed Filipino immigrants given citizenship during the period he was premier, but insisted that everything was above board.

    “Malaysia accepts foreigners to become citizens provided that they meet certain conditions.

    “Many of them in Sabah were not there for a day or two, but 20 or 30 years and can speak Malay. They have the right to be citizens,” he said at a press conference today.

    Citizenship-for-votes scheme

    The long-serving premier was commenting on allegations of a citizenship-for-votes scheme in Sabah that supposedly occurred in the 1990's, when he was prime minister.

    Witnesses at the royal commission of inquiry (RCI) investigating the matter had implicated Mahathir's close associates in the operation; his political secretary Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin and then-deputy home minister Megat Junid Megat Ayub (left).

    However, Mahathir denied that the issuing of citizenship was meant to install a BN-friendly state government, as individual voters had the choice of who to vote for, and some supported the opposition.

    When it was pointed out that the operation took place just two weeks before the 1994 state election, Mahathir said: "Whether that is coincidental or deliberate, I wouldn't know, but it is within the law.

    "That it happened just before the election does not mean it is against the law."

    He also claimed that the first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, had done worse by giving citizenship to one million unqualified people in peninsula Malaysia, and lamented that no one had made it an issue.

    Admin: See how he twist history to suit his points. The granting of citizenship to Chinese and Indians in Malaya was part of the negotiations for independence from the British and was not an act of charity by the Tunku! The British would not have granted independence if the Chinese and the Indians did not agree to the terms.
    Mahathir added he had yet to be subpoenaed to testify at the RCI, but is willing to do so if called.


  3. #23
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    Oct 2008

    I acted on my own, Aziz not involved, RCI told

    • 1:48PM Jan 17, 2013

    Former Sabah National Registration Department (NRD) chief Abdul Rauf Sani has admitted leading a team that processed identity cards for unqualified immigrants.

    However, Abdul Rauf said, the team was working alone and did not take orders from political masters.

    "I did it on my own. I am a government servant, if this was an instruction (from higher ups), it will be in written form," he said.

    Abdul Rauf said this in his testimony before the royal commission of inquiry (RCI) on Sabah's illegal immigrants problem.

    He confirmed that he and his men operated from the residence of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's political secretary Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin in Kuala Lumpur.

    However, Abdul Rauf insisted that Abdul Aziz had no role in the operation.

    "Everyone knew him as the political secretary, but we did not implement what he said. Public servants don't take orders from a political secretary," he said.

    Admin: That's like Bill Clinton claiming he didn't have sex with Monica Lewinski because he didn't blow while inside.
    The RCI conducting officers, who are representatives of the Attorney-General's Chambers, did not ask him to disclose why they were operating out of Abdul Aziz's home.

    Yesterday, former Tamparuli district NRD chief Yakup Damsah, who was part of a so-called G17 unit based in the Sabah NRD headquarters in Kota Kinabalu, had revealed that they had an operation out of Abdul Aziz's house, where they signed identity cards meant for to immigrants.

    When contacted yesterday, Abdul Aziz said he did not remember such events.

    'We do not call them G17'

    While admitting the existence of the operation, which he said was aimed at increasing Muslim voters and toppling the PBS government, Abdul Rauf denied that the group involved in the operation was termed as G17.

    “We do not call them G17, there is no specific unit, it is just me and my officers from the districts who hold regular meetings on this matter,” he said.

    Abdul Rauf added that the operation did not only provide illegal immigrants with identity cards, but also locals who lived in the interiors but did not have documentation.

    He also confirmed that the Sabah NRD was responsible for issuing approval letters to allow children of immigrants to obtain birth certificates.

    However, he denied assuring protection to his men, adding that he, too, knew of the risk of arrest then.

    Abdul Rauf was in 1990 transferred from the National Security Council (NSC) to helm the Sabah NRD until 1992. He was later transferred back to the NSC under its intelligence division.

    After the operation was discovered, he was in 1996 arrested under the Internal Security Act, but unlike his officers, most of whom were detained for more than two years, he was detained for only 60 days followed by five months of restricted residence.

    Yesterday, Abdul Rauf’s successor in Sabah NRD, Ramli Kamarudin, had also implicated another Mahathir right hand man, former home minister Megat Junid Megat Ayub in an operation to allow immigrants to vote.

    Under this subsequent operation, immigrants were issued with identity card receipts using the names and identity card numbers of existing people in the electoral roll who had never voted before or were dead.

    The receipt is a temporary document given to applicants prior to being granted a proper blue identity card. This document is sufficient to qualify for voting.


  4. #24
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    Oct 2008
    Najib says not wrong to give out citizenships if law followed

    By Mohd Farhan Darwis
    January 17, 2013
    Datuk Seri Najib Razak (centre) at the Barisan Nasional supreme council meeting on Jan 17, 2012. – Photo by Saw Siow Feng

    Admin: Ah! The cat is out of the bag. They have been cheating all this while.

    KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17 – There is nothing wrong in handing out citizenships to foreigners as long as the law is followed, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said tonight amid revelations this week by former government officials that identity cards had been given to illegal immigrants to vote in the Sabah state election in 1994.
    Najib added that credit should be given to his Barisan Nasional (BN) for setting up the Royal Commission of Inquiry on illegal immigrants in Sabah which had heard testimony about the so-called Project IC.

    Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the country’s longest serving prime minister who was in power from 1981 to 2003, has been accused of spearheading the so-called “Project IC”, in which citizenships were allegedly given to immigrants in exchange for their votes.

    But former Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Harris Salleh, who administered the state from 1976 to 1985, denied on Tuesday the existence of “Project IC”.

    Yesterday, the late former deputy home affairs minister Tan Sri Megat Junid Megat Ayub was accused of ordering the National Registration Department (NRD)’s Sabah branch to issue temporary documents to allow immigrants to vote in a 1994 state election.

    “As long as we give ICs according to the law there is no problem.

    “The Chinese and Indian communities also received their citizenships (in the same manner) during British rule. As long as it is based on law it is not wrong. This is not a big issue,” Najib told reporters after chairing the Barisan Nasional (BN) supreme council meeting tonight.

    Najib added that the public should not rush to judgment about the issue as the RCI was still going on.

    “There are 167 witnesses so we cannot make any decision yet. Let the RCI continue,” he said.

    Dr Mahathir admitted earlier today that citizenships were given to foreigners in Sabah, but stressed that it was “within the law”.

    “When I was prime minister, I was in power to determine the implementation of government policies.

    “The government received foreigners to be citizens if (they) fulfilled certain conditions, furthermore those who are there are not one, two days but already 20 to 30 years and they speak in Bahasa Melayu, have the right to be Malaysians,” Dr Mahathir said at a press conference here.

    “So the problem is when there are people who are tidak senang (unhappy) when there are some who become Malaysians although those individuals have already long resided in Malaysia, that is what causes problems.”

    Earlier this week the RCI heard testimony that the Election Commission (EC) had instructed the National Registration Department (NRD) to change the names of 16,000 immigrants in Sabah and to give them identity cards.

    Former Sabah NRD deputy director Mohd Nasir Sugip, who worked in Sabah NRD from 1992 to 1994, told the RCI today that the then-Sabah EC director, Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Yusof, had ordered Sabah NRD to change the names of Indonesian and Filipino immigrants to increase the number of Muslim voters in Sabah.

    Yesterday, former Sabah NRD director Ramli Kamarudin told the inquiry that the late Tan Sri Megat Junid Megat Ayub had instructed him to provide immigrants with NRD receipts, temporary documents that allowed them to vote in a 1994 state election.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Najib: Is this within the law? The Paki got his ic 2 - 3 years after entering Malaysia.

    Pakistani, Indian migrants tell how they got ICs

    By Boo Su-Lyn
    January 18, 2013
    KOTA KINABALU, Jan 18 — Two immigrants — one a Pakistani and the other an Indian — told the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants here today that they received blue identity cards in less than 10 years after arriving in Sabah in the 1980s.

    Mohamed Hussein, who was born in Pakistan, and Aziz Kasim, who was born in Tamil Nadu, India, also said that they had changed their place of birth in their Malaysian blue identity cards respectively to Tawau and Kunak in Sabah.
    Mohamed the Pakistani immigrant said he received a blue IC two or three years after coming to Sabah in 1987.

    “In your statement to the investigating officer of the commission, you said that when you were working in Tawau in 1988, a Pakistani and a few Malaysians approached you and asked you if you wanted a Malaysian passport. The conditions were to stay in Malaysia... and to help the government by voting,” said conducting officer Jamil Aripin at the RCI.“They indeed gave me an identity card,” replied Mohamed, saying he had also received a Malaysian passport.
    Mohamed said he came to Sabah in 1987 to look for a job and received a blue identity card two or three years later.
    He added that he has voted four or five times in elections since.

  6. #26
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    Oct 2008

    Tunku gave out ICs in broad daylight, Kit Siang tells Dr M

    1:12PM Jan 18, 2013

    DAP has slammed former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s defence that his predecessor Tunku Abdul Rahman had also given out citizenship to foreigners, as that had been done in broad daylight while the alleged Project IC was covert.

    “Tunku never gave out citizenship to subvert the electoral process but to ensure that in the run-up to Merdeka in 1957, non-Malays who resided in Malaya had a right to citizenship, which was agreed to by all including the Conference of Rulers - all done in an open and transparent manner.

    “Did Mahathir conduct the Project IC or Project M in an open and transparent process, after getting the mandate from his cabinet, the Conference of Rulers and the Malaysian people, particularly the Sabahans?” asked party supremo Lim Kit Siang (left).

    He was responding in a statement to the former PM’s defence yesterday on revelations in the Sabah royal commission of inquiry (RCI) of an alleged “IC-for-votes” scandal.

    Mahathir yesterdayadmitted he had indeed given out ICs to foreigners, but that it was above board and that Tunku had done worse.

    “We should look back and remember, Tunku Abdul Rahman was worse than I. He gave out a million citizenships to those who were not qualified (to receive it).

    “So why is it that what he had done is not considered wrong, but what I have done is?” Mahathir told the press after an event in Shah Alam yesterday.

    Lim said, "if the Project IC or Project M was lawful... why was it necessary for Mahathir to deny it and to hide it from the people of Sabah and Malaysia for over a decade?"

    No admission till yesterday

    Lim noted that until pressed for a response to the ongoing RCI yesterday, Mahathir had “strenuously denied the existence of Project IC” since allegations first arose during the Likas election petition in 1999.

    He said Mahathir hiding behind Tunku’s issuing of ICs to Independence-era non-Malays was “pure, pristine, undiluted Mahathirism - the perverted illogic, falsehood-coated assertions and brazen dishonesty”.

    “It is sad and tragic for Malaysia that the longest-serving prime minister in Malaysia does not understand that two wrongs do not make a right.

    “Sadder and even more tragic, there are no ‘two wrongs’ here as it is utterly cowardly, disgusting and contemptible on Mahathir’s part to allege that Tunku had committed a more heinous crime and treason than he with regard to Project IC or Project M,” said Lim.

    He said Mahathir should volunteer himself as a witness in the RCI, but quipped that he hoped the former PM would not have one of his infamous bouts of “amnesia ... as happened when he testified before the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Videotape in January 2008".

    “Mahathir, who is well-known for his elephantine memory before and after his appearance before the Lingam Videotape RCI, said ‘I cannot remember’ or its equivalent 14 times during his 90-minute testimony in January 2008,” said Lim.


  7. #27
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    Oct 2008

    'Dr M coward to drag in Tunku over Project IC'

    10:58AM Jan 18, 2013

    PKR says former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is an “unscrupulous manipulator of history” for using first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman's name to justify the issuing of identity cards (IC) to foreigners in Sabah.

    “The latest statement by Dr Mahathir Mohamad to clear himself of any wrongdoing in the clandestine IC scam under probe by the royal commission of inquiry (RCI) shows him to be arrogant, unrepentant and an unscrupulous manipulator of history.

    “Dr Mahathir’s attempt to drag the first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, into the mud is despicable and cowardly.

    “He is trying to pull wool over the eyes of the rakyat by equating the IC scam, conducted shadily under his watch as prime minister, with the granting of citizenship in Peninsular Malaysia during the Tunku’s time,” PKR deputy president Azmin Ali (left) said in a statement today.

    Commenting on testimonies emerging from the Sabah RCI yesterday, Mahathir admitedthat he had indeed given out ICs to Filipinos during his administration, but claimed the move was legitimate.

    However, he did not comment on the IC-for-votes allegations raised, and instead justified his actions as above board and said that Tunku Abdul Rahman had done worse by giving citizenships to one million unqualified people, referring to non-Malays, in Peninsular Malaysia during his tenure.
    The RCI over the past week heard testimonies about illegal immigrants in Sabah having been issued ICs and other documents that had allowed them to vote, purportedly to help BN wrest and maintain power in the Borneo state since the 90s and for Umno to take root there.
    Dr M's 'red herring'
    Azmin said Malaysians were able to differentiate between a “shady operation shrouded in secrecy that was criminal, and one that was done in accordance with a collective decision during the formative period of our history of independence”.

    Added the Gombak MP: “In any event, the Tunku is not the subject of inquiry, whereas the IC project is. So, Dr Mahathir must stop throwing red herrings in the path just to distract us from the key issue.”

    Azmin reminded that the testimonies during the RCI have alleged how perpetrators in the IC-for-votes “scam” stayed at the house of Mahathir’s political secretary Aziz Shamsuddin and “used it as the operations centre to issue the fake ICs”.

    “Equally shocking is the testimony that (then-deputy home minister) Megat Junid Megat Ayub had instructed NRD senior officers to issue the IC receipts.

    “Aziz Shamsuddin and Megat Junid could not have embarked on a scam of such a magnitude without clearance from the man they would have to report to at that time and that would be none other than Dr Mahathir,” said Azmin.

    Calling Mahathir’s response yesterday a “red herring”, the PKR deputy chief repeated his call for the former PM to be investigated for “treason” for “for selling out our sovereignty”.


  8. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    RCI proceedings: Facing up to the truth of where Malaysians come from

    Written by Dr. Lim Teck GheeSunday, 20 January 2013 11:03

    The pro-Umno author and blogger Syed Akbar Ali, in a post critiquing the Royal Commission of Inquiry on illegal immigrants in Sabah, has argued that it would not be out of place to have a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate why one million immigrants who were mostly Chinese and Indians were given citizenship in Malaya in the 1950s (see his post of 17 Jan 2013).

    According to him, “surely there must be at least five million Malays on the Peninsula today who may be wondering why or how that particular incident happened? Were they consulted? Was there a public referendum?”

    He also asserted that “Let’s not argue about the fairness. Let’s have a RCI first on the issue – how and why 1.0 million Chinese and Indians (including my mamak gang of course) were given citizenship.”

    He may have made his proposal provocatively or tongue-in-cheek but a variant of it has appeared as one of the lines of defence used by the former prime minister in justifying the distribution of identity cards to foreigners and their registration as voters in Sabah. According toDr Mahathir Mohamed , “One should also look back and remember that Tunku Abdul Rahman was worse than me, he gave one million to citizenships to people who are not qualified and not even tested”.

    “Why is it when he does it, it is not wrong, and when I do it, it’s wrong?” he asked.

    Dr Mahathir’s response has drawn widespread derision since his remarks have appeared in the Internet media. His was not only a shallow attempt to divert attention away from his role in this unconstitutional operation by playing up to the chauvinistic feelings of the Malay audience. He also chose to malign a deceased prime minister in his attempt to get off the hook for masterminding the massive influx of illegal immigrants into Sabah.

    There is no comparison between the widely-publicized citizenship deal for non-Malay residents who became citizens of the country based on the principle of jus soli and the surreptitious citizenship-gifting racket that Mahathir and his gang ran.

    One was open, transparent and agreed to by all the major political stakeholders in the country, including the Rulers. The other was underhand, opaque, known to only a small group of conspirators and objectionable to the citizens of Sabah and the country as a whole.

    For anyone to suggest that this recent (and other similar) political gifting of citizenship is equivalent to that which was carefully negotiated to secure our independence is to scale new heights of political expediency, if not idiocy.

    It is necessary amidst the scorn poured on Dr Mahathir to note that he is correct in pointing out that the inflow of people from the southern Philippines into Sabah is not a recent phenomenon. The free movement of people in that region is indeed part of a long historical trend.

    But this free movement was ended by the establishment of the two new nation states –Malaysia and the Philippines. As a key figure in protecting our national interest – a responsibility which he swore to uphold when he accepted the position of prime minister – Mahathir should be the first to recognize the difference between the unrestricted movement of people during the pre-colonial and pre-Independence period and the illegal influx that he authorized.

    The RCI hearing may yet bring out new discouraging disclosures on the way the former prime minister abused his power to ensure a decisive electoral advantage for the Barisan Nasional and how he sought to prolong his rule over the country by unfair means.

    While we may not be able to do anything to revoke the illegal citizenship papers provided to non-Malaysians by the Mahathir regime, amidst all the gloom however, there is perhaps one positive development that we might console ourselves with. This is that we are indeed a nation of migrants with the latest large scale influx of Indonesians, Filipinos and other non-Malaysia migrants – illegal or otherwise – adding to the diversity of the country.

    Nearly 80 years ago, R. Emerson, in his classic work, Malaysia: A Study in Direct and Indirect Rule, noted the large size of alien communities as “an admirable index of the extent to which the Malayan way of life has been superseded by the new economy” (Pustaka Ilmu edition, University of Malaya Press, 1964, p.195)

    From his table derived from the Census Report, 1931, we can see that “other Malaysians” comprised close to 10% of the population of the Unfederated Malay States (UMS) and Federated Malay States (FMS).

    The census at that time had defined “other Malaysians” as covering “immigrant peoples from the Archipelago, ethnographically akin but politically alien to the Malays of the Peninsula, and “aboriginals ethnographically far removed from the Malays but more truly ‘people of the country’ than any other race – in fact the only autochthonous population”.

    It is irrefutable fact that a large proportion of the country’s now politically and statistically defined indigenous Malay population migrated to Malaya at the same time or perhaps even later than the immigrants from China and India.

    The demographic record is that the Malay Peninsula was thinly populated by Orang Asli and native Malays for a long period of time. Beginning from the late nineteenth century onwards, economic development of the country accelerated with the establishment of British colonial rule. This economic development was the catalyst for the large scale arrival of Chinese, Indians, and migrants from other parts of the Malay Archipelago – notably Sumatra and Java.

    Whatever the findings of the RCI, we must realize that all these migrant streams – past and recent – have contributed to our country and deserve their place in the sun.

    Population of Malaya, 1931
    Other Malaysians
    Johore 505,311 722 113,247 121, 175 215,076 51,038
    Kedah 429,691 411 279,897 6,365 78,415 50,824
    Perlis 49,296 3 39,716 115 6,500 966
    Kelantan 362,517 124 327,097 3677 17,612 6,752
    Trengganu 179,789 35 163,955 609 13,254 1,371
    UMS 1,526,604 1,295 923,912 131,941 330,857 110,951
    FMS 1,713,096 6,350 443,618 150,113 711,540 379,996
    *Unfederated Malay States (UMS) and Federated Malay States (FMS)

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    For the Master of Double-speak, to lie is to tell the truth.

    Citizenship given due to Reid panel as well as Tunku

    • 12:25PM Jan 20, 2013

    COMMENT Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad must remember that his father was an immigrant from Kerala and was given citizenship together with Indians, Indian Muslims, Chinese and others because of the fair and just gesture by Tunku Abdul Rahman and the Reid Commission.

    Thanks to the commission and Tunku, Mahathir is a citizen of Malaya then, and now Malaysia.

    Yesterday, Mahathir suggested that a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) be set up to investigate the granting of citizenship to one million foreign immigrants in the Federation of Malaya, before Malaysia gained independence.

    The Reid Commission was entrusted with drafting the constitution after taking into account the views of different groups. The tripartite working party, which included representatives from the Alliance, the Malay rulers and the British, met between Feb 22 and April 27, 1957 to go through each item in the draft constitution.

    This was to ensure that the new constitution would be acceptable to the major communities. Some significant amendments were made at this final stage although the general structure of the draft constitution was retained, according to the Centre for Policy Initiatives (CPI), a think tank group.

    “Articles in the constitution on citizenship, Malay special position, language, and religion were the most sensitive and were closely scrutinised and debated. Throughout these discussions, Umno and the non-Malay Alliance leaders had to contend with very communal demands from radical sections of their communities.

    “Over the years since then, these Articles in the constitution have continued to be major sources of disagreement and a bone of contention in inter-ethnic relations.

    “Members of the Alliance agreed on the application of jus soli for citizenship so that those born in the federation after independence became citizens and non-residents could qualify by fulfilling residence, language and oath of loyalty requirements. This liberal citizenship requirement was a major concession from the Malays because with this agreement, a large number of non-Malays became citizens.

    “The Alliance, which insisted on a single nationality, also eventually accepted the Reid Commission’s inclusion of modified dual-citizenship especially for those from the Straits Settlements who were British subjects.

    “In exchange for liberalising citizenship requirements, non-Malay leaders in the Alliance accepted the special position of the Malays. Umno wanted to continue with Malay privileges as provided under the Federation of Malaya Agreement through provisions for Malay reservation land, operation of quotas within the public services, quotas for licences and permits for certain businesses, and quotas for public scholarship and education grants,” the CPI noted in its research.

    Quid pro quo agreement

    Together with this, Mahathir must recall vividly that the Malayan founding fathers agreed to a “social contract” on a quid pro quo agreement. It is a give and take agreement that provides Chinese and Indians citizenship by Tunku Abdul Rahman. It was done in return for the non-Malays granting special privileges to the Malays and indigenous people (bumiputra or sons of sons of the soil) of Malaya.

    A higher education Malaysian studies textbook conforming to the government syllabus states, according states: “Since the Malay leaders agreed to relax the conditions for citizenship, the leaders of the Chinese and Indian communities accepted the special position of the Malays as indigenous people of Malaya.”

    Another description of the social contract declares it to be an agreement that “Malay entitlement to political and administrative authority should be accepted unchallenged, at least for the time being, in return for non-interference in Chinese control of the economy”.

    Therefore, the constitution granted the bumiputra reservations of land, quotas in the civil service, public scholarships and public education, quotas for trade licences, and the permission to monopolise certain industries if the government permits.

    “Tunku never gave out citizenship to subvert the electoral process but to ensure that in the run-up to Merdeka in 1957, non-Malays who resided in Malaya had a right to citizenship, which was agreed to by all including the Conference of Rulers - all done in an open and transparent manner,” said DAP party Supremo Lim Kit Siang.

    Whereas, he added that Mahathir conducted the Project IC or Project M in secrecy unlike Tunku, who followed the Reid Commission’s findings and accepted its recommendations in an open and transparent process.

    Mahathir added: “We should look back and remember, Tunku Abdul Rahman was worse than I. He gave out a million citizenships to those who were not qualified (to receive it).”

    Consultation process

    In March 1956 a commission chaired by Lord Reid was set up to formulate a draft and refine the constitution of the Federation of Malaya.

    The commission sought the views of political parties, non-political organisations and individuals on the form of government and racial structure appropriate for this country. In the consultation process, a memorandum from the Alliance had gained precedence.

    The memorandum, an inter-communal conciliation aimed at mutual interests and strengthening the nation’s democratic system of government, took into account five main factors namely the position of the Malay Rulers, Islam as the official religion of the federation, position of the Malay language, the special positions of the Malays and equal citizenship.

    M KRISHNAMOORTHY is a freelance journalist and local coordinator for CNN, BBC and several other foreign television networks. He was formerly a journalist with The Star and New Straits Times and has authored four books

  10. #30
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    Oct 2008
    Sabah RCI opens Pandora's Box

    • 11:54AM Jan 20, 2013

    COMMENT Some days into its hearing, the royal commission of inquiry (RCI) in Sabah on the extraordinary population explosion in this “Nation in Malaysia”, has opened a Pandora’s Box. But will there be hope left as in the mythical Pandora’s Box when it was finally shut, or will all hell break loose? In 2005, it was estimated that Sabah had a population of 3.2 million, of which only 1.5 million were locals.

    The most disturbing feature of the revelations at the RCI is whether the Sabah governments since 1994 have been legitimate.

    No election is free of irregularities and even fraud. The courts have observed this time and again, not only in this country but elsewhere around the world, and have resisted the temptation to open the floodgates. They know where to draw the line.

    The principle well-established in law as a litmus test is whether electoral fraud was perpetuated to an extent which affected the outcome. In that case, the election has to be ruled null and void or the so-called victor stripped of the results and the seat handed to his rival or nearest rival.

    Many people still remember Judge Harun Hashim declaring Umno unlawful in the wake of the party’s disputed 1987 presidential elections which Mahathir Mohamad won by 43 votes in the face of a stiff challenge by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. The court discovered that 30 illegal branches had voted for Mahathir.

    Had the illegal branches voted for Razaleigh, it would not have been possible for the court to declare Umno unlawful since the ineligible votes did not deny Mahathir victory.

    The judge could have discounted the illegal votes and handed the presidency to Razaleigh (left). But for reasons best known to him, he handed Mahathir victory by the backdoor.

    The man went on to set up Umno Baru which disallowed the entry of Razaleigh and his supporters, hijacked the old Umno’s MPs, hijacked the chairpersonship of the Barisan Nasional (BN) after Umno Baru was admitted as a member by the coalition, and hijacked the government.

    Razaleigh was the prime minister Malaysia never had. Mahathir became the prime minister who never was.

    In Sabah, it appears that MyKads were issued to illegal immigrants for the purpose of voting in the name of registered voters who were not known to vote. That’s one side of the picture emerging at the ongoing RCI hearing.

    Early bird catches the worm

    It’s not often that things went smoothly. Every election, the local media carry complaints from voters who allege that they were not allowed to vote on the grounds that they had already voted first thing in the morning.

    The RCI completes the puzzle. Someone, it seems, had voted on behalf of the aggrieved voters.

    If illegal immigrants voted on behalf of citizens registered in the electoral rolls, they could be pulling off the same scam on behalf of citizens who had not registered as voters. There’s nothing to prevent an illegal registering as a voter with a MyKad under the name of an unregistered voter.

    Kota Kinabalu Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chief Christina Liew had time and again raised the issue of the deceased on the electoral rolls, quite a number more than 100 years old, voting in every election, but to no avail. The Election Commission (EC) brazenly declared the Malaysian electoral rolls as the cleanest in the world without a shred of evidence.

    The logistics show that the electoral scam could easily be perpetuated in seats with a tiny number of registered voters and seats which could go either way.

    The allegedly rampant issuance of MyKads in Sabah could not be all about voting.

    The RCI heard that over 80,000 refugees from the Philippines were issued MyKads and another 36,000 are on the waiting list. This is a strange development considering that Malaysia is not a signatory to the UN Convention on Refugees and does not recognise refugees but terms them as economic migrants. In that case, what’s the legal basis on which the refugees were recognised as Malaysians?

    Did the refugees run the gauntlet of securing entry permits with valid travel documents, before graduating to temporary resident status, permanent resident status and naturalisation?

    They could not have become citizens under operation of law or registration. It’s not possible to secure entry permits without valid travel papers. The refugees, having fled the Philippines with just the shirts on their backs, could not have been carrying valid travel papers which, in any case, cost an arm and a leg back home.

    Mahathir’s belated admission that he gave MyKads to Filipino refugees has further muddied the waters. Hitherto, he had denied that there were any serious problems with the issuance of MyKads in Sabah.

    Sabahans will not accept the issuance of MyKads to the refugees by the federal government. Every Sabahan knows that foreigners in their country can only obtain MyKads upon the recommendation of the state government which must also be the initiating party. Sabah, like Sarawak, cannot be lumped together in the same category as the states in the peninsula which participated in Malaysia in the collective as Malaya.

    Mahathir’s take on the Filipino refugees appears to be a red herring. The dimension of the MyKad phenomenon in Sabah is far larger than the issue of refugees.

    The phenomenon of ‘twice-born’

    Many Indian sub-continentals too, like other illegal immigrants in Sabah, possess MyKads under the “twice-born” phenomenon.

    The cases in court of Indian restaurant keeper Majid Kani and Pakistani carpet seller Salman Majid - they can be Googled - best illustrate the twice born phenomenon in Sabah.

    Majid Kani was born in Tamil Nadu, India but made out a statutory declaration (SD) swearing that he was born in Papar, along the west coast of Sabah. He, along with 100 Indian sub-continentals, were issued MyKads on the strength of their SDs and subsequently obtained Malaysian passports. The figure 100 was mentioned by Majid himself in Court.

    The authorities nabbed him and hauled him to court for allegedly obtaining Malaysian personal documents fraudulently. Apparently, the powers-that-be allegedly discovered that he allegedly voted for the opposition, not once but twice.

    Salman in his SD claimed that he was born in Ranau, Sabah. The rest of his story appears to mirror Majid’s.

    Salman was nabbed by Immigration in Sepang after they were convinced that he did not sound Malaysian enough. There were gaping holes in his story.

    Salman was freed by the court after the Immigration Department and the National Registration Department declined, in a change of heart, to provide the court with the necessary proof that Salman was a Pakistani masquerading as a Malaysian. Former Sabah chief minister Harris Salleh testified in court on Salman’s behalf that “he (Salman) had always been a loyal BN supporter who voted for the ruling coalition”.

    Most of the problem Indonesian

    Those in the know swear that the bulk of the MyKads in the hands of illegal immigrants and other foreigners are held by Indonesians who keep a low profile in the plantations. However, it’s the Filipinos and Indian sub-continentals who hog the newspapers headlines for all the wrong reasons.

    Foreigners are eligible to obtain citizenship in Malaysia but they would have to comply with the relevant provisions in the federal constitution.

    If what is being said at the on-going RCI hearing in Kota Kinabalu is anything to go by, it appears that many foreigners in Sabah are in possession of MyKads which were fraudulently obtained. The examples of Majid Kani and Salman Majid refer.

    Strictly speaking not all foreigners in Sabah are illegal immigrants. Still, that does not prevent Sabahans from referring to all foreigners as illegal immigrants.

    Sabahans will demand that the sordid history of Putrajaya and/or their proxies, stooges and rogue elements in their Nation on MyKads be undone.

    JOE FERNANDEZ is a freelance journalist based in Sabah.

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