PBS: Hassnar's claim strengthened doubts
KOTA KINABALU, January 9 (Daily Express) -- Former ISA detainee Hassnar Ebrahim's revelation on the rampant issuance of identity cards (ICs) to foreigners in the State has strengthened the people's doubts on the status of people, especially the Sri Tanjung squatters.
Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) Supreme Council member, Dr Chong Eng Leong, said the people cannot be blamed for having such perception. "This perception stems from what Hassnar actually stated," he told reporters, Monday.
Dr Chong said the statement by Hassnar, who was among his key witnesses during the 1999 Likas election petition trial, also corresponded with the extraordinary population boom experienced by Sabah.
"What I challenged in the election petition trial including the phantom voters was not accepted by the Election Judge," said Dr Chong who had been a long-time advocate of the issue.
He had claimed that many "new bumiputeras" in Sabah were foreigners who had obtained citizenship via the issuance of ICs numbering about 600,000 contributing to the State's population boom.
He said the police should take up Hassnar's challenge and take action or "the people will construe it as the police don't dare to take action.
"He (Hassnar) should go to court and tell us all for the sake of Sabah and Malaysia's sovereignty," he said.
Dr Chong said revealing everything would provide the opportunity to correct the people's perception. "It also reminded us about former acting State Commissioner of Police Datuk Bakri Zinin who had raised the question of how the people (foreign squatters) could obtained MyKads," he said.
Meanwhile, Parti Keadilan Rakyat Sabah deputy chief, Christina Liew said the party here fully supported the statement by Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) President Tan Sri Joseph Kurup and urged other Barisan Nasional (BN) party leaders "to be brave to join in the chorus".
She said this was to send a signal to the perpetrators of evil against the State of Sabah and the people. "These people have no place in this beloved land," she said.
YAYASAN Islam Sabah (YIS) Secretary-General, Raden Haji Kakung, said Monday that Hassnar Ebrahim's statement and the books written by Mutalib M.D as well as Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan are purely biased and presented only one side of the picture.
YIS said the allegations that had been surfacing off and on over many years warrant a thorough reply and investigation by the police.
"It high time the police carry out investigations and obtain evidence from the accusers," he said, adding that Yayasan Islam maintained its stand that the allegations are unfounded and false.
Raden said Hassnar's claim of making a total of over 60,000 ICs for illegal immigrants was a lie because "knowing the actual system and procedures involved, it can be questioned as to whether making an identity card for someone who had just arrived the day before yesterday and for those who were born in Sabah can be accomplished under the same exercise".
He said Yayasan Islam's own investigation showed that the allegations and accusations were based on those who had provided "surat sumpah" (statutory declaration) in obtaining identity cards.
Submissions of surat sumpah were in fact quite a common practice in Sabah, he said, adding that prior to the introduction of ICs in the 1970s, at least 50 per cent of Sabahans did not have birth certificates.
"Those days birth certificates were uncommon and deemed irrelevant. Hence, the Federal Government established mobile units to accept "surat akuan" over the last 10 years," he said.
"It was reported that out of the 50,000 that had applied for identity cards through surat akuan, more than 30,000 were from Tenom and Sipitang districts. This is strange because both Tenom and Sipitang have a total population of not more than 100,000 and that 30,000 still did not have birth certificates after more than 30 years of the issuance of ICs," he said.
"Therefore, it can be concluded that those who had used "surat akuan" in Tenom and Sipitang may have been just newcomers from across the border or from overseas including the missing 50,000 foreign tourists as reported by the Prime Minister," he said.
Raden said in all fairness and justice to Sabahans, Yayasan Islam, was requesting that the police thoroughly investigate the accuser as well as accused pertaining to the allegations.