No Secret Project Behind Granting Citizenship To Foreigners In Sabah – Najib

(Bernama) –  (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said there was no secret project by the government in granting the citizenship status to foreigners in the country.

In fact, he pointed out, the citizenship was granted according to the country’s legal process and the Federal Constitution, and other countries too offered the citizenship status according to their respective terms.

“Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (a former prime minister) had replied clearly in the RCI (Royal Commission of Inquiry) that there was no secret project that we (the government) had undertaken.

“Whatever it is, those who became the country’s citizens did so according to the legal process of the country based on the Federal Constitution. But if one were to say that there was a secret project, that is not true,” he told reporters after opening the Middle Temple Conference 2013, here Thursday.

Najib said this when responding to the question concerning the statement by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah at the Kota Kinabalu High Court, here, that the government under his (Najib’s) leadership knew about the granting of the citizenship status.

On the death of the Communist Party of Malaya leader Chin Peng, Najib denied that the government had not given Chin Peng an opportunity to return to the country before he died.

Najib said he had looked at the Hadyai Treaty 1989 where the government had given Chin Peng an opportunity to apply for Malaysian citizenship within one year but he declined to do so.

“Chin Peng did not take any action to become a citizen. As such, his rights had expired,” the Prime Minister said.

To a question whether the government could act based on “humanitarian grounds” to bring Chin Peng’s body into the country, Najib said the country had different opinion on that.

“But (we) must not forget of the communist’s victims, they are very emotional of what happened. How many people had died, and so many had been wounded, so many lost their livelihood, there will be much emotion if we bring back the body,” he said.

To another question that the government had ignored Chin Peng s contribution in fighting the British during the colonial era, Najib said: “No, you have to weigh that against the fact that he was responsible for killing thousands of the military, police and civilians. That has to be seen in that context.”

Asked whether Malaysians could pay their last respects to Chin Peng in Bangkok, Najib said it was the individual’s right to do so.

“(However) we don’t pay respect to those who are responsible for the death of thousands of people. If you see that in a context of how the American treated Osama bin Laden, you could see that Chin Peng died a natural death.

“Osama bin Laden was singled out, and he was killed and his body was thrown into the sea. That’s what the American stated in the case of Osama bin Laden,” said Najib.