84-Day Countdown to 13GE: Mahathir should forever shut up if he is not prepared to volunteer to appear before the Sabah RCIII

The Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Deputy President, Azmin Ali has called former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad a traitor to the country following revelations at the Sabah Royal Commission of Inquiry on illegal immigrants (RCIII) of “citizenship-for-votes” schemes in Sabah in the nineties.

Yesterday, several former National Registration Department (NRD) officers told the RCI in Kota Kinabalu that they were instructed to facilitate immigrants to vote during the 1990s and help install a BN-friendly state government.

These operations ranged from issuing identity card (IC) receipts of existing voters to immigrants to issuing blue identity cards to unqualified immigrants – also known as Project IC or Project M where “M” stood for Mahathir.

Two of Mahathir’s closest confidantes and right-hand men at the time have been implicated by witnesses before the RCI in the citizenship-for-votes scam in Sabah – the late Megat Junid Megat Ayub, Deputy Home Minister to Mahathir, who was also Home Minister and Aziz Shamsuddin, Mahathir political secretary. Megat Junid went on to become Minister for Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs while Aziz Shamsuddin later joined the Cabinet as Minister of Rural and Regional Development.

If the Project IC or Project M allegations of “IC receipts-for votes” and “citizenship-for-votes” made at the RCIII are true, and there are no reasons to suspect their truth and veracity as these have become open secrets in Sabah, not only in the 2001 judgment by Justice Datuk Muhammad Kamil Awang in the election petition nullifying the Likas state assembly election result in 1999 because of the existence of thousands of dubious “phantom” names in the electoral roll, but confessions in the public domain by former Sabah UMNO officials and government servants involved in the scam, people like Mutalib Mohd Daud, Karim bin Ghani and Hassnar Ebrahim, then the capital crimes of treason had been committed.

Azmin has raised a very apt and pertinent question – was former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir guilty of treason in the “IC receipts-for-votes” and “citizenship-for-votes” scams in Project IC or Project M in Sabah in the nineties.

Furthermore, were his two lieutenants who later became Cabinet Ministers, Megat Junid and Aziz Shamsuddin, also guilty of treason for their involvement in the “IC receipts-for-votes” and “citizenship-for-votes” scams in Sabah?

Mahathir should forever shut up if he is not prepared to volunteer to appear before the Sabah RCIII to clear allegations that he was a traitor for giving ICs and voting rights to foreigners just to shore up UMNO’s political power and to speak up to clear the names of Megat Junid and Aziz Shamsuddin.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timur