Source: Malaysiakini - Hafiz Yatim (View expressed here is solely the opinion of the source)
Just how did the National Registration Department (NRD) give identity cards to foreigners in Sabah?
According to a general surgeon and an anti-illegal immigration specialist Dr Chong Eng Leong (right), some of the ketua kampung (village headman) would issue false statutory declarations to foreigners for the NRD to issue ICs to them under Project IC.
“The headman in the statutory declaration would claim that this person comes from his village and then the NRD would issue the identity cards to them. This has been going on since the mid-1980s,” he said, where they would be given the old blue identity cards.
“These people would not have particulars about their birth at the back of the blue identity card. I estimate there are an estimated 600,000 foreigners who have obtained identity cards in Sabah since 2005 and are living there as citizens,” he revealed.
Chong claimed that the 600,000 may already have had children here, and he has met some second generation children who are in their 40s.
Such revelations are also contained in his book, Lest we forget (Security and sovereignty in Sabah), and another book written by Mutalib MD titled IC palsu merampas hak anak Sabah (False ICs infringe on the rights of Sabahans).
Chong revealed that some of the headmen had refused to issue the false statutory declarations while others were willing to do so, and this had affected Sabah's sovereignty following the influx of illegal immigrants getting citizenship in Sabah over the past few decades.
He said one of the village headmen who issued these false statutory declarations, Hasnnar Ebrahim, had been detained under the Internal Security Act in the late 1980s.
Yesterday, Chong, a former Parti Bersatu Sabah leader, revealed that the Sabah experience may expand to Pakatan Rakyat-held states to help the BN and Umno wrest control of the four states which are now under opposition rule.
He revealed that in 1986, the then-deputy home minister, the late Megat Junid Megat Ayob, and chief secretary of the government Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid, spearheaded 'Project IC'.
Questionable exponential rise
Chong, who is now with PKR, said his research found that the exponential rise of certain population groups in Sabah raises concern about his allegation of the rising number of illegal immigrants getting ICs.
“In the 1960s the total population of Sabah was 454,421 comprising of total bumiputeras 309,833, Kadazan Dusun and Murut 167,993, Bajau and Irranun to be 61,838. However, there were no numbers for Malays.
“In 2000, the population increased by 301 percent or 2.6 million. However, what is surprising is that the number of Malays had risen from nothing to 303,500 or a rise of 1,552 percent. These so-called Malays do not come from peninsular Malaysia but are believed to be the illegal immigrants given the ICs. Why has the Kadazan Dusun Murut risen by 162 percent but Malays rose by 1,552 percent?” he asked.
He further queried who are these new bumiputras in Sabah?
“Given the overall rise of Sabah population by 300 percent, the statistics on the Malays do not truly reflect the overall population if one were to compare the other groups.
“In Ops Nyah Bersepadu the federal and state governments maintained there were only 100,000 foreign illegal immigrants, but by November that year they deported 232,511. Most of them came back with different names and they came back bringing new ones,” he said.
The questionable rise in the population group, Chong said, gives credence to allegations of the existence of Project IC.
The general surgeon said based on his decade-old research, the dubious ICs would bear the numbers between H0288001 and H384000, as well as between H480001 and H576000.
“There are also other numbers but these are the common numbers I find in my research. I also find that some of them have new MyKads with the number 12 (denoting from Sabah),” he said.
Illegals registered as voters
Chong said based on his research and in his paperwork which he presented during Sabah PKR's forum on land issues, policy and challenges in Sabah in March, he found that genuine Sabah citizens who are registered voters account for 73 percent of the population.
“Of these foreigners who are given ICs, 53 percent of them are registered with the Election Commission. I based this painstaking research on days of toiling with the EC to get the data on the registered voters and voting patterns between 1999 and 2004,” he said.
He claimed that some of those who were given ICs joined Umno, with orders to vote in certain electoral districts for BN and Umno.
Chong, who had contested for the Likas state seat under the PBS ticket in 1999, had challenged the results by filing an election petition.
“I was contesting against former chief minister Yong Teck Lee, where I lost. However, I filed an election petition, and the judge in 2001 ruled the election result as null and void, and declared the win was “with the help of phantom voters.”
He also pointed out that the case of alleged Pakistani carpet seller Salman Majid, who won a Kuala Lumpur court case in 2009 against his deportation, has set a dangerous precedent.
Chong said in the Likas case, Salman had admitted in court that he was not resident in Malaysia for 23 years of his life.
“The question that should have been raised then is which school or schools Salman attended in Malaysia if he was indeed born in Ranau, Sabah as he claims,” he asked.
Chong pointed out many of these illegals do not have birth certificates nor proof to verify their birth details, but were still issued ICs. He said if one were to look for documentation it would be based on the false statutory declarations that were issued.
The general surgeon said most of the illegal immigrants given ICs have caused social problems in Sabah, including thefts, and they are also affecting Sabah's hospitals which are supposed to cater for genuine Sabahans.
“What is upsetting is that in countries like the United States, Australia, Canada, Great Britain and Singapore, they are selectively giving out citizenship to those who contribute to society. Sadly, in the case of Sabah, they are giving it for the purpose of clinging to power,” he warned.
Chong said he stood by his findings and research which he had highlighted in his book which was published in 2009, and no one has taken action on him on whether what he had presented was false.