The Umno maverick, having served under the Mahathir administration, must testify in the RCI on legalised illegals in Sabah, says Yayasan Islam Sabah
KOTA KINABALU: Former Umno vice president Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (Ku Li) who was privy to ‘written and unwritten’ federal policies during the 70s and 80 must testify in any investigations into the presence of legalised illegal immigrants in Sabah.
Yayasan Islam Sabah (YIS) said Ku Li, who had held several important portfolios in the federal cabinet including that of Finance Minister was ‘in the know’ of the government’s direction at the time.
Sabah’s exponential increase in the legalised illegal population has been has been traced back to the era of former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Ku Li served in Mahathir’s cabinet from 1976-1987.
YIS secretary-general OKK Yahya Ahmad Shah said: “Razaleigh is a very important person. He was for a number of years the (country’s) Minister of Finance and he also held many other portfolios and knows federal government policies.”
Yahya said Ku Li’s recent statement that illegals in Sabah were being issued Mykads by the federal government was greatly welcome by activists who have long since been calling for the immediate halt to the exercise seen as a bid by ruling Umno to retain his hold to power.
Ku Li had on June 3 reportedly expressed frustration at the fact that he – a bona fide Malaysian – had to show his passport on arriving at the Kota Kinabalu immigration when illegals with Mykads traveled freely inter-state (from Sabah to West Malaysia).
“Razaleigh’s comment is indeed good news for the (pro-RCI) activists. Let’s not forget he was also for a number of years an Umno vice president and in the know of written and unwritten policies.
“Therefore he must be subpoenaed to give his evidence (on the issue),” he said.
It is a commonly known fact that Umno agents were pivotal in the exponential rise in Sabah’s legalised illegal immigrant population. The influx is allegedly linked to a bid to nuetralise the Christian majority in Sabah and consolidate Umno-Barisan Nasional’s continued ‘rule’.
The legalised illegals soon become BN’s much touted ‘fixed deposit’
‘Umno Sabah polluted by immigrants’
Despite past documented evidence and testimonies of fraudulent disbursement of Malaysian citizenships to these illegals, the Umno-run federal administration have refused to acknowledge their role.
But BN’s shocking losses in the 2008 General Election, a bouyed nationwide civil society demanding electoral reforms has brought Sabah’s new voters and the government’s allegedly fraudulent exercise to boost its ‘fixed deposits’ in the state into focus.
Earlier this year it was reported that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had himself been ‘reminded’ by Sabah Umno warlords – during a visit to Sabah – on the importance of this ‘group’ who had over the past elections been ‘loyal’ voters of BN.
So terse was the warning that Najib turned tail and returned to Kuala Lumpur without announcing a much anticipated Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the legalised illegal immigrant issue, leaving his Sabah BN native-majority partners red-faced.
Since then much has happened at the grassroot levels in Sabah.
Sabah opposition riding on its Sarawak brethren’s success in last April state elections have widely flogged Umno’s villainous role in the scheme to marginalise native Sabahans.
Sabah already has a 1.2 million-strong legalised immigrant population which is eating into every aspect of the Sabahan lives. Today genuine Sabahans compete with these immigrants for jobs, scholarships and even political positions.
Young locals who are in Umno claim that most of their leaders are “either Suluks or Bajaus.”
“Umno in Sabah is polluted by immigrants. Some their parents are from the Phillipines or Indonesia but they are born here. Now they are our leaders,” said one lawyer recently.
Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman in acknowledging surging resentment of these immigrants and a rising opposition front accusing state BN leaders of being either traitors or spineless convinced the various Umno division heads to support calls for an RCI.
With Musa’s promise of a BN win in the 13th General Election come-what-may, Najib has since belatedly announced the RCI, subject to a terms of reference that is being drawn up.
But it’s unlikely to impact a already shifting political landscape here.
‘Nativity certs also an issue’
Meanwhile, the opposition has also called for RCI investigations to include the indiscriminate issuance of bumiputera certificates to non natives – Kadazan Dusun and Murut – in Sabah.
Sabah State Reform Party official Frederick Lonjinki said it was vital that the RCI also look into the Native Certificate issue.
“I know of cases where native certificates have been issued to non natives, pure Chinese in order for them to be qualify to buy Native Title lands.
“There is even talk that foreigners from Hong Kong and Taiwan have managed to acquire this Bumiputera certificate through dubious means.
“The matter must be put under RCI investigations because it also affects the sovereignty of Sabah,” he said.