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Thursday, September 8, 2011

WikiLeaks pinpoints Mahathir, Umno and EC in Sabah's infamous Project M

Sulaiman Kamal | 3:34 AM | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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A recent diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks has a rather ominous entry that pinpoints the then prime minister Mahathir Mohamad as being the perpetrator of a citizenship-for-votes scam, with the alleged direct involvement of the then Election Commission chief.
The cable stated: “During their discussion, Hussin claimed that (former EC head) Rashid admitted his direct involvement in UMNO's shadowy 1990s push to assume political control of the East Malaysia state of Sabah. During that decade, UMNO granted citizenship and Malaysian Identity Cards (ICs) to over 600,000 foreign migrant workers (predominantly Muslims from Indonesia and Mindanao) in Sabah, in exchange for their votes in state assembly elections (ref B). UMNO-affiliated parties subsequently took over all of Sabah's state assembly seats. According to Hussin, Rashid "admitted to personally issuing over 60,000 fraudulent Malaysian ICs in Sabah," to help UMNO assume political control there. Hussin told us Rashid characterized his Deputy EC Chairman, Wan Omar, as "an UMNO member who is anti-reform."

Project M
The granting of hundreds of thousands of Malaysian citizenships to illegal migrant workers in exchange for their agreeing to vote the BN federal government helped Mahathir put his UMNO party in power in Sabah.
Sabah UMNO is now the dominant party there and even has the largest number of members, exceeding even Johor, the birthplace of the nationalist Malay party.
This is the Project M, long suspected as the cause of the immigrant influx in Sabah in the 1990s that eventually brought about the establishment of UMNO in Sabah politics.
It was a sly move to subjugate Sabah-based political parties to the UMNO-led federal government’s dominance via the ballot box, through the granting of voter rights to foreign migrant workers.
No doubt, the move worked and it gained victory for UMNO, but Sabah is awashed with foreigners till today. The local population is slowly being edged out by the foreigners who have voting rights just like any other Malaysian.
To the Sabahans, this is the highest form of treachery - the selling of their birth-right by their own federal government just to gain a political foot-hold in a state. What difference is this to the killing off of the Dodo birds by European settlers, who saw the bird as a pest?
Project A for Amnesty?
In 2011, there is also a sudden rush to register foreign workers, only this time it is an Amnesty program on a national scale.
And not too long after this Amnesty exercise by the Home Ministry, there is now talk about increasing the number of constituencies in Sabah. Immediately, alarm bells of massive gerrymandering rang out from those who have experienced it before and suffer till this day.
The signs are clear, BN is out to retain its hold on the federal government at all cost.
The creation of constituencies is not the prerogative of the federal government but the job of the Election Commission. Yet, why are politicians aligned with the BN government calling for it at both federal and state levels?
Such moves by the government and the EC's feigned ignorance should not be taken lightly by the citizens of Malaysia. In fact, it should put us on guard to ensure that our constitutional rights are protected.
Extinct like the Dodo
If the government of the day is unable to protect our rights, then it falls down to our own shoulders to come together, unite and as one to demand that they are protected. We are responsible not only to our generation but to those that come after us, in making sure that their rights as citizens are protected.
Thus, the call for the eradication of election fraud should be at its strongest now. The people must stand up now.
The Election Commission must be put to work to weed out the problems within the system. We need to elect men and women who can safeguard the citizens of Malaysia and not sell off our birth-rights for a quick profit. Leave the bickering over petty matters to the politicians but what the folks in Malaysia must demand are their fundamental rights to build the nation they wish for themselves and their children.
Who can protect our constitutional right to vote better than ourselves? If we don’t make a stand, then Malaysian might well suffer the fate of the Dodo bird and become an extinct society.

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