Is BN injecting ‘voters’ into Sarawak?


By Joseph Tawie, FMT

KUCHING: Is the infamous ‘Project M’ which legitimised illegal immigrants by the thousands in the 1990s in Sabah making its way to Sarawak?

Is Umno-Barisan Nasional using the current amnesty programme as a cover for a surreptious plan to consolidating its grip for good in the state?

According to sources here, the April state polls had forced Umno-Barisan Nasional to take stock of opposition influence in the rural and rural interiors of Sarawak.

In the past BN had seen Sarawak and Sabah as its ‘fixed deposit’ and was convinced that as long as these states delivered the seats, Putrajaya will remain with BN.

However in the April 16 state polls, opposition mustered an unprecedented 45% of the overall votes and that shook BN’s confidence.

Political analyst Bridget Welsh, in a post-polls analysis, had noted that much of the swing occurred in the rural Malay heartland. BN buckled further under this shocking revelation.

Sarawak DAP, upbeat over its 12 state seat victory in the April polls especially in mixed constituency, immediately declared that it was going to contest in the rural areas in the next election further stoking BN’s fears.

Already word is that BN will lose 10 parliamentary seats including four in the rural areas in the coming general election.

Project M tip-off

That, added a DAP source, is however only if the field is level, and a recent developement is worrying DAP.

Sarawak DAP secretary Chong Chieng Jen claims he’s been tipped-off about a possible move by the federal government to introduce the ‘Project M’ in Sarawak.

“I have received information last month that the BN government is planning to introduce the ‘Project M’ in Sarawak.

“I hope my information is not correct.

“Nevertheless, we in the opposition will monitor the situation regularly and check the list of new identity card holders with the National Registration, and voter registration with the Election Commission.

“We know the situation in Sabah. Because of the ‘project M’ local Sabahans have now become foreigners in their own state as more and more immigrants are given Malaysian identity cards.

“That is why its population has surged. This must not happen in Sarawak,” said Chong.

He pointed out that this strategy had allowed the federal government to grab back Sabah from the opposition Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) in 1994.

“PBS ruled Sabah for nine years after toppling the Berjaya government in 1985.

“That problem is still haunting Sabah until this day,” he said, adding that Sabah’s immigration problems have gone beyond the point of redemption.

Putarajaya at all cost

FMT recently reported that plans were allegedly afoot in Sabah to legitimise yet another 50,000 illegals.

Sources told FMT that 20,000 of them were to be retained in Sabah while 30,000 were allegedly meant for pockets outside of the state.

Rumours are that Umno wants these newbies to be placed in Kedah, Terengganu and Johor – the last two believed to have a 50:50 chance of falling to Pakatan Rakyat.

According to sources in Sabah, Umno president Najib Tun Razak is desperate to keep Sabah and Sarawak.