Clean up Sabah electoral rolls first before auto registration of voters, says SAPP

Amendments to the constitution approved by Dewan Rakyat yesterday will see Malaysians aged 18 years and above being automatically registered as voters.

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) has backed a call by PBS to clean up the electoral rolls in the state before the implementation of automatic registration of Malaysians aged 18 and above as voters.

SAPP deputy president Japiril Suhaimin told FMT that the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants in Sabah had confirmed the existence of the infamous “Project IC”, a move to illegally issue Malaysian citizenship to foreigners in the state.

“The RCI report on illegal immigrants in Sabah had revealed the existence of Project IC whereby thousands of foreigners were granted citizenship systematically.

“The government of the day has the responsibility to look into this and resolve this serious security problem,” said Japiril, who chairs SAPP’s committee on elections.

Japiril Suhaimin.

Project IC is a reference to alleged systematic granting of citizenship to illegal immigrants in the 1980s and 1990s, effectively changing the state’s demographics.

The RCI on illegal immigrants concluded its public hearings in 2013. Among those who testified were Dr Mahathir Mohamad, former Sabah chief minister Harris Salleh and PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.

PBS president Maximus Ongkili earlier said issues surrounding the electoral rolls must first be addressed before automatic registration of voters can be implemented.

Yesterday, Dewan Rakyat unanimously approved amendments in the constitution to lower voting age from 21 to 18.

Japiril meanwhile reiterated a proposal by SAPP to have a Sabah identity card (IC) to resolve the long-standing problem of illegal immigrants who obtained MyKads through dubious means.