Sabah damaged by power-hungry leaders: MP wants Project IC culprits punished

An MP from Sabah has called for the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) report on Project IC to be tabled and debated in the Dewan Rakyat.

(Daily Express) – Verdon Bahanda (Ind-Kudat) said the report needed to be discussed in Parliament to establish who in the government was involved in the project, because it was a crime.

Moreover, Verdon said, it was the greatest betrayal of Malaysia’s sovereignty and those responsible should be punished.

He said Sabah, despite being known for its racial harmony and tolerance, had long been “damaged” by the actions of several power-hungry leaders who granted citizenship to foreigners.

“Severe punishment (if found guilty), including revoking the citizenship of the perpetrators, must be handed out to set an example and to show that the laws in Malaysia must be respected by everyone, including the nation’s highest leaders,” Verdon said when debating the royal address in the Dewan Rakyat.

The RCI was set up in August 2012 in response to long-standing demands for an investigation into the so-called Project IC, an alleged scheme in which hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants were said to have been given identity cards on the promise that they would vote for Barisan Nasional (BN).

The RCI called 211 witnesses in total, and it presented 5,000 pages of evidence, which included photos, charts, statistics, letters, official orders, commentary, and articles.

The RCI report, which was presented to the king two years later, stated that Project IC referred to a covert programme, involving high-ranking members of the government, which issued MyKads to undocumented migrants for at least 10 years, starting in the 1980s.

Project IC was said to have two goals: first, to increase the number of Muslims in Sabah where the people were predominantly Christian.

Secondly, it was to overthrow the PBS-led state government of the day, which was predominantly Christian.

Meanwhile, Suhaili Abdul Rahman (PN-Labuan) told the government to postpone its plan to increase the water and electricity tariff in his constituency.

He said it would be unreasonable for Labuan residents to pay the new tariff when they haven’t even had proper service, given the regularity of water and electricity cuts.

“There are around 100,000 people in Labuan, so the government will not incur losses if the tariff is postponed,” Suhaili said.

In December, the energy commission said the electricity tariffs would be adjusted for the Jan 1 to June 30 period, but seven million domestic consumers in Peninsular Malaysia would not be affected.

The commission said this follows the government’s decision to maintain the rebate of 2 sen per kilowatt-hour for users with a monthly electricity consumption of 600kWh or less.

In January, the national water services commission (SPAN) announced that an adjustment of water tariffs for domestic users in the peninsula and Labuan would be implemented from Feb 1, involving an average increase of 22 sen per cubic metre.

SPAN said through the tariff-setting mechanism, the structure for tariffs would be standardised across states in the peninsula and Labuan, while tariff rates would be reviewed every three years.