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Was the sudden cancellation of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity meeting today because of my proposal that Mahathir should be invited to appear to testify on Project Mahathir allegations and corruption?

Media Conference (3)       
by Lim Kit Siang  


(Parliament, Tuesday) : The Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity was to meet this morning in connection with the subject of  “Project False I/Cs” in Sabah, which had also been termed by some as “Project Mahathir”, resulting in the extraordinary increase of foreigners resulting in their numbers exceeding Sabahans in the state population. 

Yesterday morning, members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity received SMS from Parliament reminding them of the meeting which was fixed three weeks ago at its previous meeting on April 24. 

Last evening, the morning SMS was countermanded by fax and SMS from Parliament postponing tomorrow’s meeting to an indefinite date. 

Earlier yesterday, I had proposed that former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad should appear before the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity to throw light on the “Project False I/Cs” which had been described by some as “Project Mahathir”, alleging that Mahathir was the mastermind when he was Prime Minister in the massive and deliberate issuance of Malaysian I/Cs to foreigners based on false statutory declarations.

One estimate has put the foreigners in Sabah as  around 1.75 million, as compared to 1.5 million genuine locals in Sabah – with foreigners exceeding Sabahans in their homeland.

It has also resulted in tens if not hundreds of thousands of  foreigners fraudulently exercising the right to vote, changing the political power equation in Sabah state.

In the 1999 certified electoral rolls, there were 150,000 Sabah-born registered voters who were born between 1952 and 1960. However, according to the Sabah Statistics Department, there was only an increase of 120,000 persons based on birth registration – as  the State population in 1951 was 334,141 and in 1960, 454,421.

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 part of his exclusive interview with Malaysiakini on Friday, where he made an outright denial of any knowledge about “Project Mahathir.”

I had announced yesterday that I will propose at today’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 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. 

The Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity has no powers to compel Mahathir to appear before it. It will be completely up to Mahathir whether he would want to do so. 

I would not rule out completely however the possibility that Mahathir might avail himself of the invitation by the Select Committee to appear to give testimony both about the “Project Mahathir” allegations and the problem of corruption under his administration as well as under the present leadership. 

Would Mahathir’s appearance, and what he says to the Select Committee, create concern, fear and trepidation among powerful quarters? 

Is the sudden cancellation of the Integrity Select Committee meeting today just a pure coincidence that I had earlier proposed that Mahathir appear before it, or is it connected to my proposal?


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

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