By Athi Shankar
GEORGE TOWN: A DAP MP has called the Sabah Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants to also investigate former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and others for treason and abuse of power.
Senator S Ramakrishnan said it was an open secret that Mahathir, Umno and several government agencies were directly involved in illegally granting citizenship to immigrants.
He said the “Project IC” was done with Umno’s blessing so that the political party of its choice would rule Sabah.
He said Umno implemented the project to neutralise, split and politically weaken Kadazan-Dusuns and Chinese in Sabah.
He alleged the project had also involved certain other political parties, various government agencies including the Election Commission, departments of national registration and immigration, which all came under the Home Ministry.
“If the RCI fails to probe into all those responsible for unlawfully issuing citizenship to illegal immigrants, it would be just another [Prime Minister] Najib Tun Razak’s initiative to pacify Sabah’s political rumblings,” said Ramakrishnan.
He noted that Mahathir had recently justified his “Project IC” to issue identity cards to illegal Muslim immigrants from the Philippines and Indonesia.
Mahathir claimed that the illegal immigrants were qualified to be citizens based on their length of stay and mastering of the national language.
He questioned why the immigrants could not be accepted as citizens when they have all the qualifications.
In his blog posting, he claimed that choosing not to naturalise migrants in Sabah was racist and objection against giving citizenship to them was political.
He said Malaysians should accept that their fellow citizens may come from different backgrounds.
In 1960, Sabah population comprised 32% Kadazan-Dusuns, 23% Chinese, 15.8% other Muslims, 13.1% Bajaus, 5.5% Indonesians, 4.9% Muruts, 1.6% Filipinos and 0.4% Malays.
But in 2006, the state’s ethnic composition changed drastically, comprising 25% non-citizens, 17.76% Kadazan-Dusuns, 14.62% other Bumiputeras, 13.4% Bajaus, 11.48% Malays, 9.6% Chinese, 4.8% others and 3.3% Muruts.
Disclosing the statistics, Ramakrishnan said the demographic pattern changes showed that the project had altered Sabah’s ethnic composition to favour the ruling Umno government and its political allies.
“Will the RCI investigate and take Mahathir and others responsible to court?
“Unless the RCI investigates the culprits responsible for treason and abuse of power, the whole effort would be a political appeasement,” he said. – Mkini