Warisan denies involvement in ‘citizenship drive’

Six men showing their copies of the filled forms.

KOTA KINABALU: Warisan is not involved in an apparent citizenship drive by unknown individuals using the party’s logo in Lahad Datu in Sabah’s east coast, Warisan secretary-general Loretto Sipin Padua Jr said today.

He said the party had not appointed agents to register individuals who wanted to apply for MyKad as it was not the party’s job to do so.

“Whether it was done intentionally to defame Warisan or committed by an unscrupulous group of con-artists is unimportant. Warisan’s stand remains that we have never been involved in such acts,” he said.

Loretto said he had instructed the party’s divisions in places where such activities were said to have taken place to lodge police reports.

Photos of several men holding filled forms with the Warisan logo are being widely circulated online.

An application form being filled using information based on what looks like a temporary document.

Loretto noted that a royal commission of inquiry was held to look into illegal immigrants and the granting of identity cards during the rule of the Barisan Nasional but no action was taken.

“So, why must Warisan take the blame? The Sabah government is a coalition of four parties, namely Warisan, PKR, DAP and Upko. If there was such an exercise, would the other three parties keep silent?” he asked in a statement.

He reminded the opposition that the MyKad or identity card problem in Sabah was a perennial problem and that it had its chance to solve the problem.

The form bearing the Warisan logo and also displaying an old National Registration Department logo on the top right.

Meanwhile, the seven photos show six men holding the filled forms which clearly display the Warisan logo and seemingly official receipts from the NRD stating that the applications were being processed by the department’s office in Putrajaya.

One photo showed an “officer” filling up an applicant’s details based on the information from a document that looks like a passport.

Netizens quickly spotted the Warisan logo and questioned whether the party now had the authority to pre-register stateless people and immigrants with a view of making them Malaysian citizens eventually.

Official looking receipt purportedly issued by the NRD.

However, some social media commenters also noted that authentic NRD forms do not and should not have the logo of any political party. Furthermore, the forms use the old round NRD logo instead of the new rectangular logo.

The applicants are also asked to pay a fee of RM15 for each application.

Michael Frederick, president of a local NGO, Pertubuhan Angkatan Gabungan Rakyat Asli Sabah (Agaras), who had also shared the photos on his Facebook page, urged the relevant authority to immediately investigate the matter.

“We in Agaras will not hesitate to lodge a police report so that investigations can be carried out as soon as possible. We need to know who edited these forms and whether it is just a defamation case,” he said.

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Yong Teck Lee agreed that the Warisan logo on the forms looked out of place.

“This is not the real issue. The real issue is whether the forms, the applicants and the people behind the registration are part of a wider ‘Project IC’,” he said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Home Minister Azis Jamman said this may be the work of syndicates out to cheat illegal immigrants of their money by selling them fake forms.

“These syndicates are taking advantage of these foreigners’ desperation to buy the forms at any price because they think they will be given legal documents to stay.

“I can confirm that there is no programme under the home ministry to register illegal immigrants through the NRD or the Immigration Department,” he said.

Azis, who is also Warisan Youth chief, said the party would lodge a police report. He advised those with information about the sale of the fake forms to immediately notify the police.