KOTA KINABALU Dec 20, 2011: It took the objection by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) to rally behind the Barisan Nasional (BN) and the opposition in Sabah by taking Pertubuhan Kebajikan Dakwah (PEKIDA) Sabah to task for adopting a stand against the call to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to probe into the illegal immigrants issue and Project IC in the state.
PEKIDA Sabah had expressed objection to the calls by various quarters in the state for the Federal Government to set up an RCI into the issues facing the state.
Similar sentiments were also shared by several NGOs and all took PEKIDA to task for objecting to the proposal for the government to resolve the problem which has been described as “the mother of all problems” in Sabah.
Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) yesterday said that PEKIDA chairman’s condemnation on those asking for an RCI into the illegal immigrant issue was nothing more than public posturing to curry favor with those responsible for the issuance of MyKad to foreigners to register them as voters.
“It comes as no surprise to find Akjan opposing the RCI. Genuine Malaysians in Sabah are all too aware of Akjan’s public record, particularly his previous detention under the Internal Security Act in connection with police investigations into the issue and his involvement in the recent ‘sultan of Sulu’ affair,” PBS information chief, Datuk Johnny Mositun said.
Mositun said Akjan’s contention that those requesting for an RCI had ‘evil’ intentions and instigating Sabahans to hate the federal government was absurd.
“What is ‘evil’ about concerned citizens asking their own federal government to investigate the unexplained and phenomenal rise in Sabah’s population and the MyKad numbers of Malaysians being ‘stolen’ and used by others to vote in elections? And how does that amount to ‘inciting hatred’ against the federal government?” Mositun asked.
UPKO secretary general, Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau pointed out that going by the sworn testimony of an individual named Hassnar Ibrahim, there should be no doubt about the existence of the ‘Project IC.
In the minds of the public they are certain that ‘Project IC’ indeed happened, as narrated by Hassnar, through his un-rebutted sworn testimony at the Likas election petition trial in 1999, Tangau said in a statement yesterday.
“In that sworn testimony, Hassnar went into great details explaining the modus operandi of the ‘Project IC’,” Madius said, adding that the names of the principal actors of the ‘Project IC’ were mentioned and not one of them until now have come out into the open court to clear their names of their alleged involvement.
Tangau also challenged Akjan to give proof which led him to his conclusion that the call for RCI has bad intention, when the basic intention of the RCI is simply to establish the truth whether or not ‘Project IC’ ever existed and indeed if it did, henceforth to recommend a plan of action to determine the future of the holders of ‘Project IC’, he pointed out.
He added that anyone with a clear conscience will want nothing but the truth out of the RCI and an eventual resolution of the existence of “manufactured citizens in Sabah” which have undoubtedly contributed to the extraordinary increase in the population of the state.
UPKO’s information chief Datuk Donald Mojuntin pointed out that “if the proposal to form an RCI is done with “bad intention” and to incite hatred against the present BN administration, then why did the Sabah BN sub-committee on illegal immigrants endorse the said proposal?”
UPKO according to Mojuntin also proposed for the RCI to look into the matter of the 84,000 foreigners who are holding IMM13 documents.
“This is a distinct and different problem from ‘Project IC’ which Akjan doesn’t seem to realise. IMM13 documents are held by Filipinos who escaped to Sabah seeking refuge due to the civil unrest in the Southern Philippines in the early 70s and these documents are renewed annually.
“UPKO holds firmly the opinion that there isn’t any need any more for the issuance and the renewal of IMM13 documents. As such, there must be a firm and transparent solution to the IMM13 problem also,” Mojuntin stressed.
SAPP vice president Japiril Suhaimin pointed out that the call for the setting up of the RCI was made to the Federal authorities to clear doubts in the minds of Sabahans as to the unusual population increase in the number of Malaysians in Sabah.
“There is no discrimination of any sort. The truth needs to be exposed. If there was a so-called Identity Card syndicate, then those involved must be brought to trial and punished,” he stressed.
According to Suhaimin, Akjan’s claim that ‘the people whose citizenship were being questioned were IMM13 holders’, does not hold water as this was already explained by Datuk Nazri Abdul Aziz, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, who had confirmed that none of the 81,000 IMM13 holders had been issued with Malaysian citizenship.
The party’s council member Peter Marajin said, that as far as Akjan is concerned, the latter should first answer why he was arrested under the ISA in 1995 for his alleged involvement in the manufacturing of fake ICs for foreigners, before making any further denial.
Angkatan Amanah Merdeka Malaysia, Sabah Chapter has described the objection by PEKIDA Sabah on the setting up of RCI as unwarranted and irresponsible.
Amanah Sabah, an NGO, said it favours the setting up of an RCI to investigate into and establish the truth behind the sudden increase in the state population and to determine once and for all the allegations on the existence of unqualified people being issued with genuine Malaysian ICs under the “Project IC” which was clearly outlined in the book “IC Palsu: Merampas hak Aanak Sabah” and “Projek IC” both authored by Mutalib M.D.
“Any patriotic Sabahan will like to see this issue resolved poisitively for the sake of our future generations,” Amanah’s secretary Ramli Akim said.
Another NGO, Persatuan Kebudayaan dan Kebajikan Anak Negeri Sabah (PANAS) is also unhappy with Pekida’s objection to the proposal for an RCI.
“PANAS supports the need for an RCI and feels that the state Government should proceed with it. This is because there is no political motive behind the RCI, the reason why we want it is because we want to know why the population in Sabah has increased so dramatically.
“There is no evil intention to incite any ill feeling or hatred among the people for foreigners or the Federal Government,” PANAS president Samson Quentin said and added that Akjan should not feel worried about the RCI findings, if he is indeed a true Malaysian citizen.
“Akjan should not feel threatened if he is truly a Malaysian, in fact he should support the call for the RCI,” Quentin stressed.