RCI must give priority to purging phantom voters

Kim Quek

Sabahans should reject the terms of reference for the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Illegal Immigrants proposed by Prime Minister Najib Razak, because they fail to address the issue of purging the State’s electoral roll of phantom voters.

The entire 8-item terms of reference are marked by hypocrisy and evasion of the real issues.

Item after item were centered on “whether” there were illegal identity cards or citizenship granted, and “whether” there were illegally registered voters in the electoral roll, when the whole world knows that the Sabah electoral roll is heavily infested with illegal immigrants who have been illegally registered as voters.  There is already abundance of incontrovertible evidences produced in court as well as in books recording details of clandestine campaign to massively infuse these phantoms into the electoral roll so as to enable Umno to grab political power in Sabah; so why still keep up the pretence that such phenomenon is an hypothesis that  requires exhaustive investigations to establish its veracity?

Other items concentrate on the “standard operating procedure” of issuing ICs and citizenship to immigrants and its possible improvement, as well as the “social implication” arising from such issuance of ICs and citizenship.

Investigation on these issues will of course throw further light on a calamity that has plagued Sabahans for decades, but will it really relieve the heartache that has long been tormenting the suffering Sabahans?


Truth be told, Najib’s proposed realm of investigations are way off the mark.  It misses the bull’s eye by a wide margin.

For instance, what about Sabahans’ democratic right to elect the government of their choice, which has been robbed from them by the massive presence of these phantom voters?  Not a single word on cleansing the electoral roll in the proposed terms of reference.

And what about Sabahans’ social, economic and security plight arising from being apparently out-numbered by these immigrants?  Also not a word on measures to alleviate these predicaments which have reached crisis proportion.

Under the circumstances, one cannot help but wonder: is this RCI an adhoc election tactic to diffuse the apparently mounting fury of Sabahans ahead of election or is it an act of contriction that signals a genuine change of heart to start treating Sabahans with decency and justice?

The answer is obvious, judging from Umno’s shameful history of callous disregard for the welfare of Sabahans, to the extent of virtually selling off their home land to foreigners, who have not only stripped Sabahans of their democratic rights through adulterating the electoral roll, but have also jeopardized Sabahans’ social and economic well being as well as threatening their very survival through sheer numerical superiority of the immigrants.

Knocking on the doors of Sabahans with this half-baked RCI package at this eleventh hour of an election is taken as election trickery. The general feeling is that, “it is too little, too late”.

The only saving grace that I can think of for Najib to salvage Umno’s tattered image is for him to incorporate into terms of reference for the RCI measures to rectify the electoral roll as well as an agenda to alleviate current hardships which should include an orderly repatriation program and measures to stop further influx of such immigrants.


In view of the imminence of election, cleansing of electoral roll must be pushed through with the utmost urgency, for which an independent audit team of recognized integrity must be formed immediately to dig into the files in NRD (national registration department) and the Election Commission to identify phantom citizens and phantom voters respectively, and have them purged. This auditing team will make regular progress reports to the RCI through public hearings.

On top of that, and as proof of Umno’s sincerity, Prime Minister Najib Razak must give his solemn pledge that he will not call the next election until a properly cleansed electoral roll is completed for use in the polls. 

Sovereignty of a free and independent people is a non-negotiable issue. 

Umno must return sovereignty to the people of Sabah – before the election, not after; or face their wrath, which in all likelihood will result in Pakatan Rakyat taking over the rein of government by the next election.