Sabahans reeling from ‘Projek IC’ as foreigners reap benefits

In Kampung Likas, some 10 minutes from Kota Kinabalu, Zaidi Atoh and other villagers say they feel like “foreigners in their own land”.

Residents of this old mostly Muslim community say they fear for the safety of their children as foreigners had turned their village into a smuggling and drug-dealing hub.

In the Kampung Air shopping district in central Kota Kinabalu, local taxi drivers talk of how they are being increasingly squeezed out of lucrative routes and markets by Indonesian and Filipino drivers.

Some two hours away in Keningau, a video has surfaced showing bands of foreigners and locals clashing over what appear to be market stall lots.

Local activists say these incidents are the blowback from “Projek IC” – where identity cards were given out dubiously to foreigners – that is turning Sabah into a powder keg.

In fact, Sabah folk believe that militants in the Lahad Datu invasion last year were able to sneak in because many of them had Malaysian identity cards.

What began as an election tactic has altered the demographics of Sabah to the point where foreigners now make up more than 38% of the population.

Foreigners with MyKad are competing with locals for business permits and licences. And locals feel they are increasingly losing out as foreigners are willing to make “under-table deals” with corrupt officials.

Local activist Jalumin Bayogoh said if not taken seriously, the tension could boil over into more serious violence.

Real ICs, fake citizens

Proof that an IC scheme existed in the 1980s and 1990s emerged in the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Sabah’s illegal immigrants in January 2013.

Testimonies throughout the inquiry suggested that the scheme was run by politicians and civil servants during the Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s administration.

Identity cards were given to migrants, mostly Filipinos and Indonesians, without them having to go through the naturalisation process to become citizens.

In his testimony, Dr Mahathir admitted citizenship was given to Filipino migrants in Sabah but insisted that it was all done legally.

A State Reform Party (STAR) book called “Agenda Borneo” alleges that about 300,000 illegal migrants received ICs.

“Now, there are probably a million foreigners who gained Malaysian citizenship through the back door,” wrote Nestor Joannes.

He was quoting a former Sandakan district officer, Asainar M.P. Ebrahim @ Hassnar, who claimed to have been involved in “Projek IC”.

Nestor wrote that the scheme led to a 302% rise in Sabah’s population between the 1970s and 2000. In comparison, Sarawak, which had more people in the 1970s than Sabah, only saw a 106% rise in its population.

He said foreigners were given ICs so that they could vote.

“To secure Umno’s grip on Sabah, they used foreigners who had been given ICs by the federal government. (These foreigners) then became Umno supporters.”

Sabahans reeling from ‘Projek IC’ as foreigners reap benefits
27 July 2014 – TMI


Beng Hock’s family launches book, says the fight continues

The family of Teoh Beng Hock vowed yesterday to step up the fight for justice over his death during a book launch in remembrance of the late political aide.

The 63-page “Surat Dari Syurga” (“Letters from Heaven”) tells the story of Beng Hock’s life, beginning from his schooling days until his death five years ago at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission building in Shah Alam.

Beng Hock’s sister Lee Lan said they will continue fighting for her late brother.

“We will not give up and keep on fighting in the future to uphold justice,” she said.

Lee Lan admitted that seeking justice for Beng Hock was challenging, saying that she was not putting her hopes on the government to fulfil its duties.

“People say that the courts will not give us justice. If they wanted to, they would have earlier on,” she said during the launch last night.

But, she vowed to fight for the cause and will continue pressuring the authorities to bring those responsible for his death to book.

“We will not give up, we will fight until the person responsible for his death is punished,” she said.

National laureate Datuk A Samad Said, and other social activists, where present at the launch. Samad recited poem penned especially for Beng Hock.

Dr Wong Chin Huat, a fellow at the Penang Institute, said custodial deaths in Malaysia were alarming.

He called for justice to be given to these victims, adding that Beng Hock was an example of the ruling party’s treatment towards those of different political views.

“No one can be tortured because of difference in political agenda. But this incident has, at least, made us like a family,” he said.

The Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy was set up yesterday, in memory of the DAP officer who died mysteriously in 2009.

It will be an avenue for victims of political persecution, torture and custodial deaths to seek assistance and to help families of victims in seeking redress.

Beng Hock, the political aide of Seri Kembangan state assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah, was arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in July 2009.

He was found dead an hour later on the rooftop of a building adjacent to the building of the commission.

The High Court two years later in a revision upheld the coroner’s open verdict in the inquest to find out the circumstances leading to his death.

The coroner and the High Court found there were pre-fall injuries on Beng Hock’s neck but concluded that it was insufficient to point towards assault.

Beng Hock’s family launches book, says the fight continues
17 July 2014


Fight for Science, Maths in English in Malaysian schools not over

Fight for Science, Maths in English in Malaysian schools not over, says parent group leader

For six years now, Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim has been pushing Putrajaya to bring back Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) in schools.

Although the PPSMI was replaced in 2009 by the “To Uphold Bahasa Malaysia and To Strengthen the English Language” (MBMMBI) policy, Noor Azimah insisted that her struggle is far from over.

Instead, the 53-year-old chairman of the Parent Action Group for Education (Page) said it was the right time now to re-visit PPSMI and introduce it in schools once again.

“No, I don’t think our struggle is over. In fact, I think it’s time we revive it. The policy was abolished and replaced with MBMMBI because the government thought it was more important to enhance English proficiency first before implementing the PPSMI,” she told The Malaysian Insider.

“You have the first cohort of PPSMI students who are now in Standard 4. The MBMMBI, especially the English side, must be doing well, otherwise we would hear of poor feedback from parents and schools.

“So with that, if it is really a success, then we should look again at re-introducing PPSMI in 2017 – when these kids go into form 1.

Noor Azimah, a mother of four and a former accountant, pointed out that the first batch of PPSMI students (those who began learning Science and Maths in English from Form 1 in 2003) are coming out as teachers this year.

“This was confirmed by the ministry to me but they are keeping quiet about it at the moment. This batch of teachers believe they are an asset to the country and I think so too.

“We have to capitalise on this. Before this, they said they had no teachers to teach the subjects in English. Moving forward, I think we have to look at building teachers who are products of PPSMI,” she added.

These teachers, she suggested, should be posted to schools where Science and Maths were taught in English.

“Otherwise, it is just a wasted effort.”

Page was formed in 2008 out of a need to represent the parents, whose voices were not heard while the government was contemplating reverting to Bahasa Malaysia in the teaching of Science and Maths.

“It was at the second roundtable discussion (on whether to continue with PPSMI) that I realised that the parents’ voices were not being heard. There were individual parents at the roundtable but there was no proper structure to represent parents,” she added.

“And we felt that the National Parent-Teacher Association Collaborative Council had failed to represent us well in something that was so crucial.”

She admitted that the announcement to abolish PPSMI in 2009 was a blow to Page, which had presented findings on the advantages of continuing with PPSMI to the Education Ministry.

“We were invited by the ministry to present on why Science and Maths should be taught in English and we almost received a standing ovation,” she said.

“But sadly, we are very good at coming up with policies but not in implementation. Like any policy, you have to wait at least 13 years for it to work. Six years is not enough.”

Such was their disappointment when the PPSMI was abolished that Noor Azimah and half of the Page committee members pulled their children out of national schools and enrolled them in private and international schools.

She placed her son in a private school while a daughter, who is in Form 5, is still in a national school. Her two older children are in university.

Noor Azimah, who had been accused of being anti-nationalist and a traitor to the national language, warned that Malaysia was losing out to other countries in English proficiency.

“There was a rally in 2009 where they said that the sovereignty of the national language was being attacked because of PPSMI.

“But in 2010, the Kuala Lumpur High Court decided that the PPSMI did not contravene the Education Act, was not against Section 153 of the Federal Constitution or the National Language Act,” she said.

“Over the years, we realised that we have lost out in English. So I think that the argument that we are relegating the national language to second place cannot be used anymore.

Fight for Science, Maths in English in Malaysian schools not over, says parent group leader
12 July 2014 – TMI


Sabah’s security problems are a consequence of Dr Mahathir’s ICs handout

A Sabah leader has put the blame on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic) over the a series of intrusions into the Borneon state, pointing out the security problems were the result of giving identity cards to illegal immigrants during his administration.

Angkatan Perubahan Sabah president Datuk Seri Wilfred Bumburing said there is a large number of illegal immigrants in state and a total control of the state’s east coast will not resolve security threats.

“Who gave them ICs in the first place? It was Dr Mahathir,” he said in referring to the former prime minister who helmed the government for 22 years until 2003.

“The security problem faced by Sabahans now is a direct product of the policy of the government, especially during Dr Mahathir time, in giving ICs illegally to the illegal immigrants,” he said in a statement today.

Sabah had experienced a series of intrusions, the latest being the security breach on Pulau Mabul, off Semporna, which led to the death of one policeman and the kidnap of another.

Wilfred said the proof of this was part of the information provided to the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) which was set up in September 2012 to probe problems related to illegal immigrants in the state, including the issuance of Malaysian documents to Muslim illegal immigrants under a scheme known as Project IC.

The Commission called 211 witnesses to the proceedings and had submitted its findings to the Yang di-Pertuan Agon, although the report has yet to be made public despite calls from the Opposition.

“This is a case as in the Malay proverb ‘Pisau makan tuan’. The people who suffer are not the people in Peninsular Malaysia, but Sabahans.

“With the presence of the large numbers of illegal immigrants in Sabah a total control of the east coast Sabah will not totally solve the security threat. They are everywhere in Sabah and they can strike anywhere at any time,” he said.

The Tamparuli assemblyman shot down Dr Mahathir’s suggestion to resettle people living in water villages to prevent further intrusion, saying that the former prime minister does not understand the Borneon state’s cultural and social sensitivities.

He said the former premier’s proposal would impact the livelihoods and the way of life of the people who had resided in water villages their entire lives.

“The suggestion by Dr Mahathir to demolish all water villages in Sabah is not only impractical, but also very costly.

“From his statement, it is clear that Dr Mahathir does not have a clear understanding of the cultural and social situation in Sabah, especially with regards to those people residing in the water villages which exist throughout Sabah”.

Sabah’s security problems are a consequence of Dr Mahathir’s ICs handout
17 July 2014 – TMI


Real poverty in Malaysia – 22.6%

Real Poverty
SIA Infographics: Incidence of Poverty
24 April 201 – Rakyat Times)


Dr M’s ridiculous demand that govt reimburses Proton

Dr Mahathir wants govt to reimburse Proton

KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is chairman of Proton Holdings Bhd, wants the government to reimburse the struggling carmaker, saying that the company, despite being privately-owned by tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, needs some form of financial support.

“We (Proton) have been spending our own money, and we have been spending our money for a long time. I think (Proton) should be reimbursed [for] what we have spent because it affects our income,” he told reporters after launching “Drive for Gaza” here yesterday.

Dr Mahathir did not reveal the value that Proton should be reimbursed, but said the company had used “billions of ringgit” of its own money.

Asked if Proton was facing funding issues, especially in its research and development (R&D) of new car models, Dr Mahathir evaded the question by saying that money from the government that is meant for R&D is not only for Proton, but “for everybody”.

“But Proton is an automotive company. Our R&D costs a lot of money. We hope that the government will extend to us some support.
“At the moment, we are not receiving [their] money but we are spending our money,” he added, noting that R&D is not cheap and that it could run into billions of ringgit.

The recently appointed head-honcho clarified that Proton was not out to ask for money to support its business; rather it is for its R&D activities.

Dr Mahathir established Proton in 1983 but had taken on an advisory rolensince his retirement in 2003.

Asked if Proton deserves financial assistance since it has been privatised, Mahathir said he does not think it is an issue as he pointed out that the governments of other countries like South Korea and Japan also support their private sector.

The government will in turn gain from the money that it collects as taxes from the private sector, he added.

“You know, this country began to buy more cars after we introduced Proton. The government’s revenue for a period of 10 years was RM18 billion because Proton came into the market,” he reiterated.

Reports have circulated that Proton was seeking development funds of up to RM3 billion from the government, which Proton later denied. Proton was bought over by Syed Mokhtar in 2012.

Dr Mahathir wants govt to reimburse Proton
Cynthia Blemin
18 July 2014 – The Edge Financial Daily


Reveal findings of royal commission on illegals, Sabah reps tell Putrajaya

Sabah opposition lawmakers today demanded that Putrajaya make public the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) report on illegal immigrants in the state that was submitted to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong two months ago.

They said that the restructuring of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscomm), as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak this morning, was not enough without a solution to the problem of illegal immigrants in the state.

“We want Najib to make known the content of the RCI report to the public. We have been waiting for two months,” Bingkor assemblyman Jeffrey Kitingan (pic) told The Malaysian Insider.

Kitingan, who is also Sabah Star party chief, said the RCI would be meaningless without action and a solution to the “Project IC” problem.

He said Naib’s announcement today to restructure Esscomm would also be futile if the influx of illegals was not addressed.

“In fact, it is the federal government who have made us insecure by helping Muslims in the Southern Philippines with weapons, shelter and Malaysian identity cards in exchange for their votes,” he said.

Kitingan added that Putrajaya was only using Sabah as their political playground in order to control the state and its resources.

Tamparuli assemblyman Datuk Seri Wilfred M. Bumburing said he would push for the report to be tabled in the Sabah State Legislative Assembly next week.

“The people of Sabah have a right to know about the sudden and dramatic increase in the population and what the government plans to do to resolve this perennial problem,” he said.

The Angkatan Perubahan Sabah president said he was aware of security issues which may warrant some facts not to be disclosed in its totality.

“Generally we want to know whether or not the problem of foreigners having been issued with MyKad through questionable methods will be resolved.

“And the problem of state and national security, sovereignty and true independence for Sabahans in the context of Malaysia will be honoured and upheld,” he added.

Bumburing, who was Upko deputy president but left the Barisan Nasional component party just before the 13th general election, said he was very certain that the memorandum he had presented to the Home Ministry was true and justified.

The former Tuaran MP had called for the home ministry to nullify all MyKad issued dubiously.

DAP Sabah vice-chairman Chan Foong Hin also urged the prime minister to release the findings of the RCI immediately and table it for debate in the coming parliament session and Sabah state assembly sitting.

Chan said the restructuring of Esscom alone would not guarantee Sabahans their safety.

Reveal findings of royal commission on illegals, Sabah reps tell Putrajaya
8 July 2014 – TMI

Real Poverty Rate in
Malaysia: 22.6%     ...more
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