|SABAH RCI WAS NOT THE ANSWER|
By : DR. CHONG ENG LEONG as published HERE
EVER SINCE Malaysia was formed, security and sovereignty of Sabah within Malaysia was always in our mind. KL of course knew that this was the prime concern of Bornean States of Sabah and Sarawak when formation of Malaysia was agreed upon.
Najib himself as Defence Minister in 2000 stated that PTI problem in Sabah was serious. He repeated saying this in 2005 and 2006 as Deputy PM. One senior Minister even said that the situation was critical.
However, numerous Police Reports lodged but only token probing, Court Judgments, ACA Report, Suhakam Reports, countless yearly electoral objections between 1997 and 2001by PBS – all these come to nothing. KL even ordered NRD to stop entertaining proceedings of Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Integrity of 2006.
(Our main speaker today, Mutalib M.D, would certainly touch on this – he and Jabar Khan did testify in the proceedings of this PSC.)
KL denied any wrongdoing, denied extra-ordinary population increase in Sabah since 1970 but gave ridiculous and insulting reasons for the increase by Nazri and others. Nazri added some more ridiculous reasons few days ago like “Malaysians from Peninsula and Sarawak came to Sabah because of economic mobilisation” – what does this mean, after all Sabah is the poorest State?
Nazri even said that opposition accused BN Govt of giving citizenship to foreigners for votes; but Salman Majid, a foreigner, testified this in a High Court case in KL few years ago: foreigner migrants who were given blue IC and citizenship were to promise to vote BN in general elections.
Nazri had stated many times in Parliament that illegal immigrants in Sabah would be granted IMM13 or refugee status if they were from Philippines and that there was BN govt’s future plan for them like granting PR status and may be citizenship.
KL denied there was Project IC for foreign migrants, denied existence of phantom voters in Sabah rolls in spite of PBS twice (in 1997 and 2001) handed lists of around 70,000 non-qualified names on the rolls to the Election Commission, not to mention the Judgment of 1999 Likas election petition.
And KL refused to set up the RCI ever since 1996 when first asked for by PBS. Last year, Home Minister Hishammuddin denied there was Project IC and that the Sabah RCI was not the answer.
Yet he said last week that he had ordered his ministry’s agencies to fully cooperate with the RCI when called to help investigation by the Commission. Does this mean there were readymade answers for the agencies to reply to questions by the RCI?
It took Bersih 2.0 in 2011 to force BN to set up the PSC on electoral reform. Sabah participants except one in this PSC demanded for a Sabah RCI on the illegal immigrants, Project IC and non-qualified voters in the electoral rolls. Federal Cabinet agreed on 8 Feb 2012, but PM only announced it on 1 June after Bersih 3.0 and Sabah PKR’s Tuntut dan Tubuh RCI movement.
The TOR was not ready until 11 August and it took them another 40 days to get the appointment letters ready for the Commissioners. Today in October we just heard that there was the first meeting of this RCI Commissioners last week. The six months’ period granted for the completion of their prescribed work falls in next April in which month the current Parliament must be dissolved for PRU13 within 60 days. This tells us much about BN’s sincerity or lack of it.
The first three Terms of the TOR ask the Commissioners to investigate the number of foreign migrants who have been given blue IC or citizenship, if these were given legally and if they are registered in the electoral rolls. Just investigate but no power to recommend any action, no power to pin-point persons responsible.
When given the blue IC or citizenship through falsified Sijil Akuan by stating that the applicant was born in Sabah when in fact not is surely not legal. The BN Government knew about this illegality but then why asking the RCI to see if it was legal? Why nothing in the TOR to investigate the person or persons who master-minded this treacherous and treasonous action?
Why named Project Mahathir? ISA detainee, Hassnar Ibrahim detailed the modus operandi of issuance of ICs to foreign migrants during the trial of the Likas election petition 1999 – that was Mahathir’s instruction. That was happening in the 80’s, about 400,000 blue ICs issued to foreigners. (Mutalib was also another key witness at this trial and surely he would touch on this as well.)
There was another big wave of issuance of blue IC and citizenship in the 90’s. Another ISA detainee (Jabar Khan) testified in the proceedings of the PSC on Integrity, (like our Mutalib did). Jabar was the Secretary of the UMNO Task Force, formed in 1991 when UMNO set foot in Sabah.
The Director of this Task Force was current Sabah CM and its Deputy was a current DCM. The job of this Task Force was to recruit foreigners and have them issued with ICs and registered them as UMNO members and in Sabah electoral rolls, targeting 30 out of the 48 state seats. UMNO wanted to kill off PBS in the coming elections then. This was testified by Jabar.
Tun Mahathir was challenged but kept silent for years but last July he admitted having granted foreign migrants citizenship, saying that they were qualified because they could speak Malay – if qualified, why was there the need to falsify the Sijil Akuan to say born in Sabah?
This third Term is to find out if these Project citizens were registered in the electoral rolls but does not have to find out how many of them registered. As mentioned earlier, PBS did submit lists of around 70,000 phantom voters twice (1997 and 2001) to EC. Actually there are at least 200,000 such phantom voters in the current Sabah rolls of around 950,000 voters – this Forum does not have time to go to detail of this.
Terms four and five touch on standard operating procedure (SOP), methods and regulations on giving blue IC or citizenship to foreign migrants. The RCI is tasked to find out if these were done properly and devoid of any irregularity from the legal aspect. And to compare these to the international standards and norms with the view to further strengthen them.
The BN government must be of the opinion that Commissioners are yes-man – NRD and Immigration Dept were instructed to give IC or citizenship against our law and Constitution, yet asking the RCI to see if the procedure etc were devoid of any irregularity.
International standards and norms? It was done illegally to start with – how then to compare it to international standards and norms? Giving IC or citizenship based on religion and the promise to vote for the incumbent government are certainly not in line with any international standard.
The SOP etc are sound and if strictly followed there won’t be any irregularity. The powers that be bent the laws by ordering the agencies to give IC and citizenship to foreign migrants based on falsified Sijil Akuan.
Term six is to investigate the cause for the population increase in Sabah according to four categories and then to study the effect of those who are registered in the electoral rolls. The four categories are:
1. People of Sabah residing in Sabah, including those who have been issued with ICs and citizenship through late birth registration certificate.
BN government categorised these foreign migrants who have been issued IC and citizenship as “people of Sabah who have been issued with ICs and citizenship through late birth registration certificate”.
This is to legitimise the issuance of the IC or citizenship – through the late birth registration certificate. Again and again the BN government is trying to fool us Sabahans or they believe that the Commissioners are ignorant. Foreign migrants means just that – foreign born. How to have late birth registration in Sabah if foreign born? At the back of the Blue ICs was stated that particulars of the holders were from Sijil Akuan, not from birth certificate.
These are the Project Mahathir citizens – in 2010 they were 737,000 of them in Sabah, against 1.617 million genuine Malaysian citizens.
2. Foreign workers (including their dependents).
In 2010 there were 955,000 foreigners registered in Sabah (Labuan included) – 750,000 were workers with permits and their dependents?
3. Illegal immigrants (including their dependents) – the paperless.
CM Dept said that around 120,000 of the 955,000 were paperless, including dependents? If known paperless when doing the census exercise, why was there not any action taken?
It is estimated that there are one to two million paperless foreigners lurching and reeling around in Sabah at the moment – no one knows the exact number of them.
4. Refugees or IMM13 holders.
CM Dept said that around 84,000 of the 955,000 were refugees. There were 57,000 in early 70’s and 40 years later there should be 300,000 of them – but majority of them are in possession of PR status granted unilaterally by KL side or Project Mahathir citizenship.
This means that there were more than three million foreign migrants in Sabah in 2010, including the Project Mahathir citizens. And only 1.617 million were genuine Malaysians. Where is the promise to safeguard Sabah’s security and sovereignty within Malaysia? Janji ditepati?
The effect of those who are registered in the electoral rolls: In 1999, Langkom and Sook state seats (KDM majority) were replaced by two seats in Tawau Residency where Project Mahathir citizens were in large number. In 2004 when 12 new state seats were created, eight were in areas with large number of these Project Mahathir citizens. There goes our sovereignty.
There were eight demands asked for by Bersih 3.0 for the whole country, plus the RCI on the crisis of foreigners’ issues in Sabah – the outcome of this RCI would be either a source of pride to the future generations or a focus of contempt.
Term seven is to investigate the social implication arising from the issuance of blue IC or citizenship to foreign migrants on Sabah community.
The greatest sin of the BN government is to categorise the foreign migrants who were given blue IC and citizenship, given illegally, as Sabah Bumiputra. This erodes the fundamental rights of the indigenous people of Sabah, severely disturb the harmonious demography and silently marginalise them into oblivion. It is sad to say that the future role of the indigenous people is for decoration only during festive occasions. The statistics on the racial breakdown of Sabah population since 1970 as shown below speaks volume.
The racial breakdown in Sabah (Labuan included) according to the Dept of Statistics Malaysia, Sabah:
The BN government knew about this statistics and they tried to downplay the glaringly staggering figure of “Malay” population in Sabah that they issued statistics allegedly from Malaysia Population Census that Malay population in Sabah in 2010 was only 178,000, (the balance of 220,000 was added to the category of Bumiputra Lain). BN is trying to fool us Sabahans for the umpteen times.
Term eight is to find out the number of stateless foreigners given blue IC or citizenship.
1. Call not just government agencies like NRD, Police, Immigration Dept – but also ex-ISA detainees involved in this IC scam (like Hassnar Ibrahim, Jabar Khan, Yakup Damsar), SUHAKAM, NGOs who are in the knows, and individuals like Mutalib. Heads of present and past EPF and SOCSO knew about phantom contributors – call them to testify as well. And please accept volunteers who want to come forward to testify;
2. Not just investigate but also (i) probe into the people responsible and have the power to recommend appropriate actions to be taken on them and (ii) to recommend reviewing citizenship of these Project Mahathir citizens and follow-up actions;
3. Deport all paperless foreigners;
4. To investigate the number of foreign migrants granted PR status in Sabah and appropriate recommendations like invoking the IGC Reports on immigration and follow-up actions;
5. To recommend to stop issuing IMM13 or refugee status to Filipino, review their status and deal with them appropriately;
6. Foreign workers with permit must not be accompanied by dependents;
7. Corruptions within the agencies concerned to be dealt with seriously – install patriotism to our people esp these agencies’ personnel;
8. For those foreigners who could not be deported, consider distribute them proportionately to rest of Malaysia or to third countries;
9. Investigate the number of these foreign migrants registered in the electoral rolls with the view to expunge them before the next elections.