It is a well-known secret that Dr M started this clandestine project in the 1990s to capture Sabah for Umno. After much pressure from the Opposition, a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Integrity headed by Bernard Dompok was set up in February 2007.
Three months later, Dompok quit as chairman of the committee over disagreements on the function and scope of the committee, in particular, over the refusal of the National Registration Department to appear before the committee. The findings of the PSC were never made public.
In May 2008, Lim Kit Siang tabled a motion to set up a Royal Commission to investigate the problems relating to illegal immigrants in Sabah. The motion was rejected by the Deputy Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, Ronald Kiandee. Subsequently, Pak Lah announced the setting up of a high powered cabinet committee chaired by the then Deputy PM Najib Tun Razak.
However, it was pointed out by a senior Sabahan politician Chong Eng Leong similar committees were set up in 2000 and 2006 without any results. Merely lip service to pacify Sabahans.
There were several government crackdown operations to deport illegal immigrants since the 1990s. The last was in August 2008. These operations served to deport immigrants without proper documentations but it did not address the issue of Project IC.
Najib not only did not produce any results from the so-called high powered cabinet committee, he himself resorted to giving out citizenships it was stated that whilst Dr M had given citizenships to foreigners in Sabah to stay in power, Najib is now doing the same in the whole country.
The whole exercise, according to Raja Petra, was like a Hollywood movie script. It seems that Umno used funds from Libya to cut a deal with Abu Sayyaf to overthrow PBS in Sabah.
Dr M finally admitted that he gave out citizenships during his tenure and claimed that it was as legal. He conveniently disregarded the Reid Commission by saying that what he did was as legal as Tunku did the same by giving out citizenships to Chinese and Indians!
Remember the unsuccessful coup d’etat attempt by the Al Ma’unah? Mohamed Amin and his group were charged for “waging war against the King” or treason, and became the first people convicted of such an offence in Malaysia.
I opine that what Dr M, Megat Junid, Aziz Shamsuddin and Najib did (if found to be true) is even more serious than Al Ma’unah and if found to be true, they should be charged with high treason!
Interestingly, Al Ma’unah was charged for treason which is a British legacy under the Malaysian common law. Back in the days of Henry VIII, the punishment for those convicted of high treason was to be “hanged, drawn and quartered”.
It may be proper during the Middle Ages but not at this time and age. As I subscribe to Sir Thomas More’s contention that even the devil (that we know and not the angel that we don’t) must be given the benefit of the law.
In conclusion, I hope that perpetrators of such blatant and treasonous acts of giving out citizenships to illegal immigrants in order to continue their hegemony be brought to justice with the due process of law.