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Mahathir should appear before Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity on the grave and protracted problem of extraordinary increase of foreigners in Sabah becoming Malaysians through fraudulent documentation

Media Statement (3)      
by Lim Kit Siang  


(Parliament, Monday) : Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad should appear before the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity to throw light on the grave and protracted problem of the extraordinary increase of foreigners resulting in their numbers exceeding Sabahans in the state population. 

This is particularly pertinent in view of persistent allegations that Mahathir had masterminded when he was Prime Minister what had been described as “Project Mahathir False ICs” in Sabah based on the deliberate issuance of Malaysian I/Cs to foreigners based on false statutory declarations under “Project IC” or “Project Mahathir”.

One estimate has put the foreigners in Sabah as around 1.75 million, including those in possession of the Project Mahathir ICs, as compared to 1.5 million genuine locals in Sabah.

Hundreds of thousands of false ICs are in the hands of foreigners who are proclaiming themselves not only Malaysians but also as Bumiputras with all the privileges and rights of Customary Native Rights in Sabah.

It is now public information that in the 1999 certified electoral rolls, through the new IC numbers there were 150,000 Sabah-born registered voters who were born in 1952 through 1960 although according to the Sabah Statistics Department, the State’s population in 1951 was 334,141 and in 1960, 454,421 an increase of 120,000.

With an estimated 80 per cent in this group registered as voters, there would only be about 100,000 Sabah-born voters for this period – which would mean that about one-third of voters allegedly born in Sabah between 1952-1960 were foreigners with ICs issued fraudulently with the use of falsified Sijil Akuan under the Project False I/Cs.

These are very serious allegations which Mahathir cannot allow to stand in the public domain uncontradicted or unclarified.

Mahathir spoke for the first time on the “Project Mahathir” or “Project False ICs” in the third party of his exclusive interview with Malaysiakini on Friday, where he made an outright denial of any knowledge about “Project Mahathir.”

This is what Mahathir said in the Malaysiakini interview: 

Q. You have created a situation in Sabah where there are more foreigners than locals.

A. Sabah is a border area like Kelantan. Traditionally, the Bajaus for example, used to come and go as they like because they never recognised the boundary between the Philippines and Malaysia or between British North Borneo and Indonesia. These people come and go, and some of them have been staying there for 30 years. The children cannot go to school because we do not recognise them as citizens. This is very unfortunate.

We have been having this kind of problems all the time, and it’s going to get worse - in every country - because borders today are very porous. No way you can stop a few million Indians migrating to Europe, a few million Arabs migrating into France. You cannot stop it today.

But they accused Umno of giving all these ICs to foreigners in order to...

A. Not Umno as such. There may have been a few fellows who did it, but it was not Umno.

The government?

A. The government, no. Certainly not. Some people with an interest in doing so may have, maybe for money.

There were claims that there was a special meeting involving former deputy home minister Megat Junid Megat Ayob, involving the police, and where these things were discussed. There were very specific allegations where things were orchestrated for political ends. Do you have any knowledge of this so-called Project M?

A. No. Not me.

So Project M is not Project Mahathir?

A. It’s nice to have ‘M’. At one time, there was even an MM government.

I will propose at tomorrow’s meeting of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity that Mahathir be invited to give testimony to give first-hand evidence on the serious allegation of a Project False I/Cs which had also been termed as Project Mahathir which was responsible for the fraudulent legalization of hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants by the issue of false documentations, conferring on them voting and citizenship rights. 

As Mahathir has said that the problem of corruption has worsened under the present administration as compared to his 22-year premiership, this would also be a very pertinent subject for Mahathir to appear and testify before the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity.


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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