Archive for the 'Sabah' Category


All M’sians must stand united against mega dams in Borneo

FOCUS: Some 250 km from Miri, Sarawak, a community is bravely standing in the way of being displaced and to protect the surrounding environment.

They have been doing so for 562 days now through a non-violent blockade to prevent loggers and the Sarawak Energy Bhd from accessing the construction site of the Baram mega dam.

Recently, in conjunction with the 555th day of the blockade, the Borneo Project released a second film as part of a series on short documentaries on the proposed mega dams in the country’s largest state.

The video, titled “Commerce or Corruption” highlights the risks posed to the people and environment, while questioning the need for the mega-dams citing the enormous cost and its economic unfeasibility.

Critics of the dams say that the project will result drive tens of thousands of the land, the extinction of untold species, pollute rivers and produce more greenhouse gas emissions per megawatt of energy than a coal-fired power plant.

They also say that the dams benefit very few people, most notably the family of former Sarawak chief minister Abdul Taib Mahmud.

In Sabah, the proposal to build the Kaiduan dam, in Ulu Papar has also been met with fierce opposition by the indigenous community and activists.

They too do not want to be driven from their homes and fear the destruction of the biodiversity-rich area.

I can’t help but feel sorry for the affected communities as they have everything to lose.

Yet, I can’t help feel they are fighting a losing battle against the might of the government.

While this issue affects those miles away from Peninsula Malaysia, the destruction of the environment and the well-being of its people is a national issue.

The Baram mega-dam for example will see 20,000 displaced and 400 sqkm2 of rainforest inundated.

I believe that the collective voice of the people can go a long way in helping and supporting the cause of the affected communities of these damned dam projects.

10 May 2015 –
All M’sians must stand united against mega dams in Borneo


Plenty of smoking guns on illegal migrants in Sabah

COMMENT On page 267 of the royal commission of inquiry (RCI) report, it is stated that “Indeed, as far back as 1999, it was already reported in local newspapers in Sabah that it was a lucrative business being involved in fake ICs or genuine ICs illegally issued. There was much money to be made by syndicates or individuals or corrupt officials because a false IC could fetch between RM400 and RM500, and a Malaysian passport could cost up to RM50,000.”

Some people have claimed that a lot of activities associated with the illegal immigrants in Sabah represent an industry, and present opportunities and temptation for corruption. Corruption is a big problem in this country. It is also very costly.

I also hear of illegal immigrants becoming victims of enforcement personnel. They become part of the problem rather than the solution. Their vulnerability is often taken advantage of. I have heard stories that very often enforcement personnel, usually towards the end of the month, demand to inspect the purses of illegal immigrants and take away some or all their monies.

Let me briefly make some comments on the RCI and its report. The RCI is the latest attempt by the federal government to show the public that it is doing something to resolve what is perceived to be a government-created problem for Sabah. Perception, being what it is, could be real or imagined.

But in the Sabah case, there are many signs of smoking guns. The problems associated with the illegal immigrants are often described as the mother of all problems. The unusually large population of foreigners, both legal and illegal, has permanently changed the economic, social, cultural, political and demographic landscape of the state. Many of them were initially illegal but became legal, rightly or wrongly.

By my reckoning there are in Sabah more foreigners than locals, who feel fearful and threatened. I have some indicators for this but time does not permit me to elaborate. This is not surprising because this issue was in the making for more than 30 years.

There appears to be lack of political will on the part of the government to resolve the problem once and for all. More and more Sabahans are convinced that this is a deliberate move or agenda for Sabah by the federal government.

In short, the RCI has cleared the real culprits, the government and political parties of any wrongdoing. Instead, the RCI pointed the finger at civil servants. This is very surprising. The main function and responsibilities of civil servants is to translate government decisions and policies into action. They operate under the principle of ‘I am your obedient servant’.

Even if they are doing wrong, either deliberately or inadvertently, surely they cannot escape from government notice and attention for over 30 years.

Experience and events also indicate that the government was aware of what was happening. For example, the decision to establish the federal task force was made by the PM himself. I was present when the decision was made. I welcomed the move but I was disappointed that it took about one year just to create the post of the head of the task force. Yet the task force was supposed to resolve the issue once and for all.

That is why I am convinced that the federal government is not serious in solving the problem. There is so much disconnect between declared intention and actual action. It has been said ‘a man of words and not of deeds is like a garden full of weeds’.

I believe the task force is still in existence but so is the problem, only bigger and more complex.

In so far as the ‘Projek IC’ is concerned, the RCI concluded that it “probably existed” despite the availability of hard evidence to suggest that it definitely existed. The question of probability should not arise. The existence of ‘Projek IC’ is an open secret to the ordinary Sabahans.

Report not signed

Right-minded Sabahans who were looking for relief and justice would be shocked and disgusted with the report. It is a very disappointing report, to say the least.

It looks odd that in the report the term ‘royal commission of inquiry’ appears, yet on the cover it is being referred to as report of commission of enquiry. The chairperson and the commissioners also did not sign the report. Other reports which I have seen are much more dignified.

Dec 27, 2014 – Malaysiakini
By Simon Sipaun
Plenty of smoking guns on illegal migrants in Sabah


Umno risks losing Sabah without firm action over illegals, say analysts

Umno can be voted out of Sabah in the next general election if Putrajaya and the Sabah government refused to take concrete steps to resolve the issue of illegal immigrants in the state, following the release of a royal panel report, warned analysts.

Already unhappy that large numbers of foreigners in the state have changed its demographics and religious balance, observers said emotions among locals have turned to anger over the findings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants in Sabah.

Released last week after a six-month delay, the 368-page report found that syndicates and those with help from corrupt officials set up “Project IC” in the state to give out identity documents to foreigners.

But while the report acknowledged the existence of Project IC, it never named those responsible and in a one-page recommendation, proposed that a secretariat and a management committee be established to resolve all matters related to illegal immigrants with Malaysian documents.

This watered-down response to a long-standing problem will likely cause anger as most people had expected the report to finger either the government or individuals related to it, analyst Wan Saiful Wan Jan said.

As such, Umno would likely be the key target of people’s anger because the Malay party is the lynchpin of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition and is seen as the dominant entity with the power and resources to stem the influx of illegals.

Yet, it was perceived as having done nothing to stop the problem.

“Don’t forget, Umno is a relatively new entrant to Sabah politics,” he said, referring to the 1990 events in the state when political parties Berjaya and Usno merged to become the Sabah chapter of Umno.

“And with people being angry at the government, it would not be difficult to translate the anger towards Umno,” he added, noting that Sabah voters had a history of supporting non-BN parties.

“If nothing is done, in the middle to long term, the anger among the people can translate to a political protest against the BN government. This is not something that people will forget,” he said adding that this time, the anger is from both sides of the divide.

Both Sabah BN component parties as well as the opposition have long complained about foreigners obtaining Malaysian identity cards fraudulently. Some Sabah politicians have called for these cards to be revoked and reissued lawfully.

Unhappy component parties might opt to pull out from the ruling coalition as a form of protest if the issue was not properly addressed, Wan Saiful, the head of think tank, Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas), said.

Umno risks losing Sabah without firm action over illegals, say analysts
10 December 2014 – TMI


The RCI TWISTER unleashed by Dr M can blow Sabah out of Malaysia

MAKE NO MISTAKE! The RCI TWISTER unleashed by Dr M can blow Sabah out of Malaysia

Financially motivated!

So this is the kind of explanation given by the chief secretary to the Government, Ali Hamsa, when asked whether there was political motivation behind the Project IC.

How incredulous can this get? Ali should know better that Malaysians are no longer in a mood to swallow everything that is dished out from a civil servant or a politician.

It is as good as telling us that Humpty Dumpty managed to piece himself together again, and forever reigned as King of England.

Or that Bujang Lapuk finally found the flight MH370!


The way how the report had been downgraded to become a “Commission of Enquiry on Immigrants in Sabah” speaks volume about the lack of credibility of the BN Government.

Even the ordinary man on the street know the difference between an RCI and one which has the “royal” label dropped. One has the endorsement of the royalty, while the other is nothing but scrap paper.

This is, in fact, an insult to the former Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, whose position warrants a full RCI. How then can Ali Hamsa justify the drop of the label, “Royal” from the report unless the Government has the intention to play down on the report?

What was meant to be a royal commission of inquiry for something as important as Project IC is now turned into a mockery.

A lot of questions are still left unanswered, despite the evidence unearthed during the inquiry that there was indeed political involvement. My bet is that political motives were largely behind Project IC, which is also dubbed as Project M, implying the involvement of the then prime minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Otherwise, a civil servant has no business in mass conversion of illegal immigrants into voters, probably also with the help of the Election Commission.

If Dr Mahathir had not given the greenlight, the Operasi Durian Buruk (1993-1995) would not have taken place so successfully. If it had been the sole effort of the then Sabah National Registration Department (NRD) chief, Ramli Kamaruddin, then he should be tried for being a traitor.

Singlehandedly, even with his own department, Ramli could not have successfully registered the illegals and turned them into citizens.

How else would you explain when a quarter of the population in Sabah today can trace their origins to the Philippines and Indonesia?

How is it that within a short period of time these illegal immigrants were given the Identity Cards, when in Peninsular Malaysia, children born to parents with foreign spouses are denied the same blue ICs?

If the NRD had acted on its accord for financial gains, the people involved should not be let off the hook. In other words, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) would have to swing into action to investigate the allegations that the registration of illegals was done for financial gains.

Why has the Government decided not to take any actions against the officers who were involved in the so-called Project IC?

These are the questions most people will be asking in the months, if not years to come, when Sabahans discuss about the state of affairs.

Tough for BN

As far as we know, the people of Sabah (and the rest of the country’s population) have always wanted a RCI to identify the culprits behind the large influx of foreigners into Sabah.

The purpose is to officially identify who is behind the entire episode. The Sabahans know the answers even before the commission was formed, but they merely wanted an independent body to conduct an inquiry into the matter.

Now that the truth is swept under the carpet, Sabahans are not going to be contented with the outcome of the Commission of Enquiry (COE) report.

I will not be surprised that Sabahans are now angry with the way how things turn out to be. Even West Malaysians like me who follow through the RCI are perplexed how much whitewashing can be done just to make the Barisan Nasional Government look good.

Question is who would believe it! Come General Election, this issue will be another sore point for Sabahans, who may ditch the BN for the Opposition parties.

06 December 2014 – Malaysia Chronicle
MAKE NO MISTAKE! The RCI TWISTER unleashed by Dr M can blow Sabah out of Malaysia
Written by Simon Neoh


Sabah leader slams RCI findings as mere political gimmick

The Royal Commission of Inquiry on the illegal immigrants in Sabah was no more than a political gimmick to hoodwink state voters into rooting for Barisan Nasional in the last general election, a state opposition politician said today.

Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, who is chairman of Star Sabah, expressed his disappointment in the findings of the RCI, calling it an “insincere” attempt by the ruling coalition to “save its face” and to pacify angry Sabahans over the matter of illegals.

“It is now clear that the RCI was a manipulated cover-up to absolve the federal government, its leaders and the political party referred to in the RCI from Project IC,” Kitingan said in a statement.

“Faced with a potential revolt by PBS (Parti Bersatu Sabah) and a loss in the-then pending GE13, Prime Minister (Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak) relented with the setting up of the RCI in a face-saving political gimmick.

“The insincerity of the federal government was clear from the outset with the formation of the RCI and the delay in setting out the terms of reference (TOR).”

The RCI was formed on August 11, 2012, nine months before the May 2013 election.

Kitingan said that the RCI’s finding that no government and political parties were involved in Project IC was “laughable”, and chalked it up as a feeble attempt to absolve the BN federal government and its previous leaders of their hand in the matter.

“That opinion was totally unsupported by any evidence and runs contrary to tonnes of evidence presented. It is unbelievable that a syndicate aided by corrupt officials could have gotten away with such treacherous, treasonous and traitorous issuance of ICs,” he said.

“There was also evidence of illegals being entered into the electoral rolls and of the giving of actual voters data to enable foreigners to vote. The alleged corrupt officials at ND (National Registration Department) were not also Election Commission officials and this was not considered when the RCI opined that the government was not implicated.”

Besides that, said Kitingan, only one out of the eight TORs required the RCI to recommend any amendments or change to standard operating procedures in relation to the issuing of identity cards (ICs) to immigrants in Sabah.

“If it was so empowered, the RCI would have had to make much wider and more comprehensive recommendations than the setting up of a permanent secretariat to study the findings of the RCI.”

But despite its limited scope, Kitingan said that the RCI made two substantive and “damning” findings: that there were at least 67,675 ICs issued to illegal immigrants and that there was an undetermined number of illegal immigrants in the electoral rolls.

“Of course, the numbers cannot be ascertained by the RCI as there was a lack of effort and political will to present all evidence before the RCI.

“In reality, the number is at least 1.5 to 1.7 million ICs dubiously issued based on the population census in 2010,” Kitingan said, adding that based on electoral rolls, there were at least 250,000 to 300,000 dubious voters out of a total of 982,337 registered voters in Sabah.

Sabah leader slams RCI findings as mere political gimmick
5 December 2014 – TMI


Illegal immigrants: Dr M must face the music

The Royal Commission of Inquiry report provides basis for a class action suit.


In retrospect, when Putrajaya first announced the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Illegal Immigrants in Sabah, former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad appeared to have panicked and made an open defence of his strong sense of proprietorship of the mantra on bangsa, agama, negara (race, religion, country).

The Sabahans had finally cornered him after so many decades.

He became all defensive and was quoted as saying in the media that Tunku Abdul Rahman gave citizenship to two million “ineligible” Chinese who couldn’t speak Malay.

It’s warped logic in the Mahathirian mould that the Chinese, a trading community, could get away in the marketplace without being able to communicate in Malay.

Mahathir, in citing Tunku, said the illegal immigrants in Sabah were even more deserving of citizenship since they had been there a very long time, 30 to 40 years, and spoke Malay fluently. The Federal Constitution does not indicate that illegal immigrants in the country can be granted citizenship based on the passage of time and their ability to speak Malay.

Besides, no foreigner in Sabah can get citizenship without the Sabah government being the initiating and recommending party.

Again, by Mahathir’s warped sense of logic, the “ineligible” Chinese in the peninsula was a precedent of sorts for the even more ineligible illegal immigrants in Sabah. At least the Chinese in the peninsula had legal status under the Federation of Malaya Independence Act 1957 as British subjects, unlike the riff raff in Sabah, who sneaked in by the back door.

The RCI report points out that Mahathir’s name comes up again and again on the issue of illegal immigrants in Sabah, birth certificates, ICs, citizenship, the electoral rolls, and the issuance of Malaysian documents in exchange for votes.

Mahathir, of course, appeared before the RCI hearing and denied everything, even going so far as to say that he never heard of Projek IC, or Projek IC Mahathir, claiming that many people used his name without his being even aware of it.

Mahathir’s statement that the illegal immigrants in Sabah deserved to be citizens can be linked to figures in the RCI report that nearly 100,000 illegal immigrants were issued ICs and even larger numbers were issued citizenships and large numbers of these ended up on the electoral rolls.

Illegal immigrants: Dr M must face the music
December 5, 2014 – FMT


Sabah RCI a blatant whitewash

Post-Sabah RCI, the merry-go-round goes on

COMMENT The royal commission of inquiry (RCI) report exonerating the Barisan Nasional (BN) government of responsibility in the gargantuan illegal immigrant calamity in Sabah must have stunned, shocked and disgusted many who had been eagerly looking forward to this RCI report for some relief and justice.

The RCI, instead, attributes the entire blame on errant civil servants who have carried out such illegal activities for profit.

Who on earth could have believed such blatant whitewash when an influx of Muslim illegal immigrants from southern Philippines and Indonesia over a sustained period of decades has caused Sabah’s population to explode to five times its 1970 numbers (3 times the growth rate of other states)?

Also the fact that monumental evidences have been produced both before and during the hearing of the RCI of the massive conversion of these illegals into voters (popularly known as phantom voters) to rob the original Sabahans of their sovereignty?

Have our defence forces, police, immigration department, national registration department (NRD) and the entire cabinet under the BN government been in deep slumber all these decades while millions of foreigners swarmed over Sabah until they outnumbered the original inhabitants who were impoverished in the process?

Could a few corrupt civil servants motivated by greed have engineered and achieved such a fantastic feat that has drastically and illegally altered the demographic and power balance of such a huge state without a powerful command from the top hierarchy of the government?

Evidence galore of political conspiracy

If there was no political or governmental involvement, how does the RCI explain Operasi Durian Buruk, in which former Sabah NRD chief Ramli Kamaruddin (1993-1995) led an emergency squad in late 1993 to mass convert illegal immigrants into voters with collusion from the Election Commission so that they could be planted into selected marginal constituencies where they could tip the balance in favour of BN in the early 1994 election?

As a result of the intensive and accelerated infusion of phantom voters that had been going on since 1990 (of which Ops Durian Buruk is just one instance), no doubt prompted by the crushing electoral defeat of the Muslim-led BN by Christian party PBS in 1990, the electoral landscape of Sabah had been transformed whereby Muslim majority constituencies have dramatically increased from 30% to 50% of the state’s total constituencies of 48 – just in time for the 1994 election.

As a result, PBS could only manage a marginal victory in 1994, instead of an anticipated sweeping victory as it did in 1990.

Dec 5, 2014 – Malaysiakini
Post-Sabah RCI, the merry-go-round goes on

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All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?