Sabah IC figure: Home Ministry unsure
The Home Ministry says that many applications for ICs from 1990 to 2005 were done manually, and as such it did not have the exact numbers on hand.
KUALA LUMPUR: The government does not yet know how many first-identity cards (IC) have been issued in Sabah over the past 20 years.
In a parliamentary written response, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the ministry had a hard time in getting information in this area.
He was referring to Independent-Tuaran MP Wilfred Mojilip Bumburing, who asked how many ICs had been granted from 1990 until now.
“The ministry wishes to state that before 2006, state Registration Departments (NRD) had their application processes done manually,” Hishammuddin said.
He said that data from the Sabah NRD had to be collected manually, and as such, his ministry needed more time before they could come up with a detailed answer.
He was, however, able to reveal that 43,617 first-ICs or MyKads (for those aged 12 and above), MyPR (permanent resident) and MkKAS (temporary resident) cards had been issued after 2006 until September this year.
Hishammuddin also added that since 1990, those born in Malaysia were required to have and produce their birth certificates when applying for their ICs.
Letters of declarations, he said, were invalid forms of proof.
Allegations have arisen over the years over the issuance of identity cards to illegal immigrants in Malaysia’s easternmost state since the 1990s.
Critics claimed that those who received these cards did so on the condition that they would vote for the Barisan Nasional federal government during later general elections.
Termed as “Project IC”, the move has been a sore point for many local Sabahans, including former BN MPs.
In 1970, Sabah had a population of 651,304. This increased to 1.5 million in 1980 before shooting up to 2.4 million in 2000. By 2010, the state was said to have 3.1 million people.
These details have led Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to look into the matter.