MEDIA STATEMENT (20 Nov 2014)
The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0) is outraged that the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Illegal Immigrants in Sabah will not be tabled in this Parliament session despite earlier reports quoting at least two ministers that it would be done.
We are also not convinced by Prime Minister Najib Razak’s last-minute attempted assurance that the report will be made public next month. For one, there is scant detail about how it will be done, which leads us to see it as a red herring to subvert pressure on the original assurance.
Najib and his cabinet must explain why our elected representatives are not being allowed to perform their duty in debating and discussing this important Report, when it pertains to the very question of which party is truly the people’s choice to be government.
The inquiry, which was established after tremendous public pressure, had given hope to Malaysians, especially Sabahans, that truth will finally out on long-standing allegations that illegal immigrants are being given citizenship in exchange for votes for the ruling party under “Project IC”.
BERSIH 2.0 wishes to stress that the immigrants are not to be blamed since they are merely victims of the system in many ways. Any anger over their involvement must be directed at the authorities who exploited these vulnerable groups to enable the ruling party to stay in power, even if it is at the expense of the sovereignty of Sabahans.
The government officers who were detained under the now defunct Internal Security Act cannot be deemed the sole perpetrators since they were civil servants mandated to follow orders. We believe that they were held under a detention-without-trial law to purposely prevent the truth from being revealed in open court.
A crime of treasonous proportions has been committed. Those who gave the orders to illegally register migrants for personal or political gains must be brought to justice. More importantly, the wrong committed to the people, especially Sabahans, must be redressed soon. All this hinges on the immediate tabling of the Report.
Therefore, BERSIH 2.0 demands:
- A revamp of the Sabah electoral roll, involving deregisteration of those with fraudulently obtained ICs in view of the serious damage done by Project IC to the integrity of the roll.
- No delineation as long as dubious voters remain. The EC must not commence with the redelineation in December 2014. If redelineation is to proceed regardless, it would be incorporating the already bloated dubious voters and hence intensifying the fraud.
- No seat increase. As it is with redelineation, any seat increase would be essentially exacerbating the fraud.
- Prime Minister must table the Report by Monday 24 November even if it means having to extend the Dewan Rakyat meeting, which is scheduled to end on 27 November. We will not accept any more delays since this issue has been awaiting resolution as far back as the Likas petition in 1999.
The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0, which comprises –
Chairperson: Maria Chin Abdullah; Treasurer: Masjaliza Hamzah; national representatives: Prof Madya Dr Abdul Halim bin Yusoff, Farhana binti Abdul Halim, Fadiah Nadwa Fikri and New Sin Yew; vice-chairpersons: Jannie Lasimbang (Sabah), Ahmad b. Awang Ali (Sarawak), Abd Halim b. Wan Ismail (East Peninsula), Thomas Fann (South Peninsula), Simon Lee Ying Wai (Central Peninsula) and Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon (North Peninsula).