Mahathir as PM again will only worsen Projek IC woes, says Tangau

Wilfred Madius Tangau addressing delegates at the BN election machinery convention in Kota Kinabalu.

KOTA KINABALU: Pakatan Harapan’s choice of Dr Mahathir Mohamed as prime minister if it wins the upcoming election would worsen Sabah’s so-called Projek IC or illegal immigrant problem, Upko acting president Wilfred Madius Tangau said.

Tangau, addressing delegates at today’s election machinery convention held jointly by Upko, PBRS and PBS, said the people should therefore refrain from voting for the opposition.

“Dr Mahathir, Pakatan Harapan’s choice of prime minister if they win the election, would just increase the number of people involved in Projek IC,” he said.

“Our three leaders present here, Joseph Kurup, Max Ongkili and Joseph Pairin Kitingan, are all capable of resolving the problems.

“If we let Pakatan Harapan form the next government, people (illegal immigrants) from Projek IC will be coming in droves.”

Projek IC is the moniker given to an alleged citizenship-for-votes scheme of the previous administration led by Mahathir.

A royal commission of inquiry (RCI) concluded in 2014 that Projek IC may have existed.

Chief secretary to the government Ali Hamsa, however, said the finding was based on the testimonies of five witnesses, who were not subjected to a cross-examination. He said the finding showed no politicians or government were involved in the so-called project.

Tangau said the people should reject the opposition such as Pakatan Harapan and Warisan, saying the latter was a proxy of the opposition coalition’s component PPBM, led by Mahathir.

“The opposition, like Pakatan Harapan and Warisan, love to shout slogans like ‘Sabah for Sabahans’ and purportedly fight for Sabah’s rights.

“Their propaganda is dangerous to the fence-sitters, those voters who haven’t made up their mind because they can easily be swayed by the opposition.

“Actually, the opposition has no solutions to all the problems, but we in BN do,” said Tangau, who is also federal science, technology and innovation minister.

The opposition has been vocal about their resolve to return Sabah’s rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

However, the BN has stressed that Sabah’s rights were very much on the government’s mind, with Prime Minister Najib Razak having said any rights taken from the state would be returned.