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The evil of a racist political party

By Dr Chong Eng Leong
Datuk Chairman, thank you for allowing me, on behalf of Parti Keadilan Rakyat Sabah, to take part in this hearing. My specific area concerns the Electoral Rolls.

1          Introduction

Datuk Chairman and YB-YB, Sabah is in a precarious situation, as far as the non-qualified names (phantom voters) on Sabah electoral rolls are concerned. Precarious because it concerns Sabah’s sovereignty within Malaysia. No Sabah no Malaysia. Save Sabah save Malaysia.

Ordinary Sabahans have been well informed of phantom voters since the Likas 1999 Election Petition trial against Yong Teck Lee and Election Commission (EC). Ask any family, restaurant owner, contractor, farmer, plantation owner – ask them if they have ever employed foreigners before and later notice that these foreigners were in possession of Malaysian identity cards (ICs) and had their names on Sabah electoral rolls? That petition Judgment stated: “the instances of non-citizens and phantom voters in the electoral roll as disclosed at the trial may well be the tip of the iceberg” (Appendix 1). EC ignored the judgment and until today these non-citizens and phantom voters’ names have not been expunged.

In the last PSC in 2006 (on Integrity), Tan Sri Bernard Dompok resigned from the Chairman post because National Registration Department (NRD) refused to answer questions on ICs issued fraudulently in Sabah – it was instruction from higher authority. EC cannot refuse applications from people to become voters if they possess valid identity cards. So let us look at these phantom ICs’ numbers.

2                   Phantom voters’ IC numbers

Datuk Chairman, you know very well that in June 1995 Datuk Radin Malleh asked in Parliament about finding out the owners of certain old IC serial numbers as follows:H0288001 to H0384000
          H0480001 to H0576000
          H0609601 to H0610000
          H0658001 to H0658200
          H0658401 to H0659000
          H0666001 to H0666400
The answer was that Parliament could not disclose them because it involved national secret matters.

Datuk Radin believed that these ICs were issued against our laws and Constitution, ICs issued through falsified Statutory Declarations (SD) stating that applicants were born in Sabah when in fact they were not (Appendix 2).

Datuk Chaiman, YB YB, the above IC numbers have been assigned to phantom voters, ICs issued through what was popularly known as Project IC, though not exclusively. Every year from 1994 till 2002 PBS submitted tens of thousands of electoral objections regarding these phantom voters but EC would not listen. Numerous Police Reports were lodged but there was also no feedback (Appendix3 and 4).

In the 1999 State general elections, all PBS candidates, including you Datuk Chairman, and me, were each given a copy of a list of phantom voters in their respective Constituencies – their names, IC numbers and Daerah Mengundi. Your seat Tandek had few but my area Likas had 6,379 phantom voters out of around 25,000 in the roll. And there were almost 80,000 in the Sabah certified 1998 rolls used for 1999 elections.

EC expunged 81,488 ICs in the certified 1999 rolls (because of much exposure during the Likas election petition trial) and they proudly announced that all phantom voters in the Sabah rolls had been removed. The breakdown of those expunged is as follows:
          Doubtful identities                             70,969
          Double names                            3,220
          Duel registration                       5,713
          Doubtful military personnel           742
          Doubtful Police personnel              193
Died                                               60
          Disqualified                                             19
          Underage                                         8
          Others                                        564                        (Appendix 5)
Just imagine, that more than 10% of a total of about 727,000 names in the certified 1998 Sabah electoral rolls were non-qualified names. Certainly these elections were not fair to say the least.
Actually only 20,630 of those expunged were known Project IC phantom voters’ numbers. And in the certified 2001 roll, 6,400 of them were re-instated. I lodged objections against those in Likas Constituency when the names were still in List B but it was not accepted by EC (Appendix 6).

I analysed these IC numbers – H0288001 to H0384000 and H0480001 to H0576000. Each group had 96,000 numbers – almost 200,000 total.

Look at the graph 1 (Appendix 7) showing the percentage of old IC numbers registered on Sabah electoral rolls (for certified 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001): it was noted that for the numbers between H0288001 and H0388400 only 26% were registered, while between H0480001 and H0576000 53% were registered. The rest, for every consecutive 10,000 IC numbers, there were around 73 to 90% registered.

Every 10,000 consecutive names in the Sabah rolls consistently had 15% Chinese names, but not one was found in the 70,000 consecutive Project IC numbers. Datuk Chairman and YB YB, this is not playing on racial sentiment as Chinese names are for Chinese or Sino-natives and other names are indistinguishable for other races.

Questions were asked in Parliament about these two anomalies: the answers were (1) it was not compulsory for every citizen to be registered as a voter and (2) it was only coincidental that there were no Chinese names in these consecutive IC numbers cited.

3                   Could I find ALL the phantom voters?

I have indirect evidence that the phantom voters found and pointed out by myself was not even 50% of them. For example:

In the certified 1999 Rolls when only new IC numbers were used (in printed form), there were 155,847 registered voters born in 1952 through to 1960. Those coded 12 – Sabah-born – were more than 150,000.

The population of Sabah in 1951 was 334,141 and in 1960 it was 454,421 – an increase of around 120,000. A few thousand of these would have been born outside Sabah, left Sabah or died, and if 80% of those remaining Sabah-born IC holders were registered voters, Sabah-born voters should be well below 100,000.

However, more than 150,000 were found here – more than 50,000 additional Sabah-born voters born in these nine years. Of these additional ones only 23,636 were within the old IC numbers under my analysis – less than 50%. The remainder had their old IC numbers not within the numbers under my research, or only had new IC numbers (Appendix 8).

One example is an UMNO member, the Chairman of the Islamic Welfare and Sermon Organisation of Malaysia, Sabah Division, Akjan the self-proclaimed Sultan of Sulu (Appendix 9) – he was not born in Sabah and his old IC number was not within the IC numbers mentioned above. His new IC number is coded 12. If he was naturalised his new IC number should have been coded 71. He set foot in Sabah in the early 70’s as an illegal immigrant. His role in the issuance of fraudulent ICs to foreigners got him arrested under ISA in 1996.

These known phantom voters, especially in the East Coast, were so numerous that in 1999 two State Constituencies with KadazanDusun Murut (KDM) majority (Sook and Langkon) were replaced by two in the East Coast namely Kalabakan and Senallang. And in 2004 when twelve new State seats were added to the existing 48, seven of them were with phantom voters in large numbers, or excised from old Constituencies with huge number of them: Karambunai and Tanjong Aru from around Likas and Petagas, Gum Gum, Tunku from Lahad Datu, Bugaya, Apas, Tanjong Batu and Sebatic, (one of the last three was former Kalabakan). Effectively 9 out of 12 new Constituencies have or are from areas with high concentration of phantom voters. Datuk Chairman, do you know why Langkon in your Kota Marudu Parliament area was not re-instated?

4                   Who are the phantom voters?

In the 2010 population census, “Malaysians” in Sabah were 2.354 million. But only about 1.617 were genuine Malaysians and 737,000 were Project IC and fake citizens – 32% of them!

To clarify how I arrived at the figure of 1.617 million genuine Malaysians in 2010 let us briefly look at the population of Sabah and Sarawak compared from 1970 to 2010. Sources are from Department of Statistics Malaysia, Sabah.

In 1970 and before that, Sabah’s population was always two-thirds of Sarawak’s. But now it is the other way round. Table 1 below shows populations of Sabah and Sarawak: In 1970 Sabah had 648,693 and Sarawak 976,269; in 2010 Sabah 3,309,700 and Sarawak 2,420,000. Sabah increased by 410% from 1970 to 2010 – quite extraordinary! while Sarawak only managed 148% (Graph 2 in Appendix 7). If Sabah’s increase were same as Sarawak’s, then Sabah should have 1.617 million Malaysians in 2010 (assuming that the projected population increase consists of Malaysians only). The additional numbers would therefore consist of foreigners and some 737,000 Project IC holders and their young children (Tables 2 and 3).
                                                            Table 1
                             Population of Sabah and Sarawak compared
   Sarawak                       Sabah                         Sabah                   Project IC or       (% increase)                 (% increase)        (if same % as S’wak’s)   fake citizens
1951                                           334,141
1960                                           454,421
1970       976,269                       648,693                       648,693
1980    1,235,553 (27%)         1,013,003 (56%)            823,840
1991    1,642,771 (33%)         1,808,848 (78%)         1,095,707
2000    2,012,616 (23%)         2,603,485 (44%)         1,347,719                    640,942
2010    2,420,000 (20%)         3,309,700 (27%)         1,617,262                    737,238

1970-2000 increase: Sabah 301% compared to Sarawak 106%
1970-2010 increase: Sabah 410% compared to Sarawak 148%

                                                            Table 2
                                              “Malaysians” in Sabah
                          Genuine Malaysians              Project IC or fake Malaysians
            2000        1,347,719 (69%)                           640,942 (31%)
            2010        1,617,262 (68%)                           737,238 (32%)

                                                            Table 3
                                       Breakdown of Sabah Population

                Total              Genuine         Project IC or fake       Foreigners          Paperless
            Population       Malaysians      citizens (new Bumi)    with ‘papers’     foreigners
2000    2,603,485   1,347,719 (52%)  640,942 (24.5%)     614,428 (23.5%)       ???
2010    3,309,700   1,617,262 (49%)   737,238 (22%)        955,200 (29%)          ???

29% of Sabah’s population in 2010 were foreigners – 955,200 (Table 3). One would think that these foreigners were with some official papers, but we were told by Sabah Immigration Director Mohd bin Mentek last August that some 200,000 of them were residing illegally in Sabah. My question is: why was no immediate action taken last year following the census exercise?

What is the explanation for the huge differences in the population increase for the KDM, Bajau and Malay groups of people in Sabah? KDM increased by 201%, Bajau 422% and Malay 2,061% from 1970 to 2010 (Table 4 as shown below).
                                                            Table 4
            Year                        KDM                       Bajau                         Malay
            1970                      215,811                    77,271                        18,362
            2000                      564,623                  343,178                      303,497
            2010                      649,500                  403,300                     398,000

1970-2000 increase            162%                       344%                        1,552%
1970-2010 increase            201%                       422%                        2,061%

32% of Malaysians in Sabah in 2010 were Project IC or fake Malaysian citizens (Table 2); they can be registered as voters and they also claim Anak Negeri status with all the Hak Warisan Adat Anak Negeri. The percentage is increasing and Datuk Chairman, YB YB, this drastically disturbs the harmonious demography of Sabah. Please take note Datuk Chairman that before Malaysia there were more than 50% KDM in Sabah out of the total Bumiputra and in 2010 they were only 34% of them (Graph 3 in Appendix 7 and Table 5).

                                                            Table 5                                               
                                          Sabah Bumiputra Population
                 Total              KDM (%)        Bajau (%)         Malay (%)       others (%)
1960       309,833        167,993 (54)      61,838 (20)                               80,002 (26)
1970       437,075        215,811 (49)      77,271 (18)      18,362 (4)      125,631 (29)
1980       838,141 (Pribumi)
1991    1,003,540        397,287 (40)    211,970 (21)    123,810 (12)    270,473 (27)
2000    1,601,356        564,623 (35)    343,178 (21)    303,497 (19)    390,058 (25)
2010    1,911,000        649,500 (34)    403,300 (21)    398,000 (21)    460,200 (24)

Cakes meant for Anak Negeri are forced to be passed to these instant “Bumiputra”, slowly but surely marginalising the anak asal Sabah to oblivion.

Therefore it is not unreasonable to conclude that the current 860,000 names in the Sabah electoral rolls consist of around 200,000 Project IC phantom voters or fake citizens’ names, not just the 70,000 that are known and located.

And not to forget the other foreigners – the so-called refugees (IMM13 holders), those with work permits, and the unknown number that are paperless (estimated one million) – they are the future “instant” Anak Negeri Sabah and voters. Can’t the Federal Government see the obvious?

5                   What made this large number of Project IC phantom voters possible in Sabah?

(A) Sabah UMNO Task Force

Political Parties, NGOs, Institutions and activists have been calling for a RCI on illegal immigrants and Project IC in Sabah for more than 10 years. Even MCA and Gerakan called for one a few weeks ago. But not UMNO. Why?

The last PSC (on Integrity) heard one ex-ISA detainee Jabar Khan exposing UMNO’s role in ICs issued to foreigners in Sabah (and also in Harakah in March 2007). He said: -
When UMNO came to Sabah in 1991, Sabah UMNO Task Force was formed. Its job was to look for foreigners, get them issued Malaysian ICs, and then registered as UMNO members and also registered in Sabah electoral rolls. 30 Constituencies out of 48 were the targets so that PBS could be unseated by the next State general elections in 1994.

Director and Deputy of this Task Force were current Sabah CM and DCM, Musa Aman and Yahya Hussin (Appendix 10).

Jabar Khan was its Secretary. He said 82,000 foreigners who were issued ICs by this Project IC got registered in Sabah electoral rolls in the 90’s. By the way, this was corroborated by a recent Wikileaks exposure about an ex-chief of EC admitting to Mafrel chief (Malaysian Free and Fair Election) in 2006 that he helped register foreigners with fake ICs in Sabah rolls on UMNO’s order.

May be this is one reason why UMNO does not want the said RCI. Datuk Chairman and YB YB, the second reason stems from what happened in the 80’s.

(B)  In the 80’s

Another ex-ISA detainee, Hassnar Ibrahim, testified under oath during the Likas 1999 Election Petition trial. He told the Court about the mechanics of how foreigners were issued Sabah Blue ICs in the 80’s – through falsified SD by having the foreigners stating that they were born in Sabah when in fact not. He said there was a meeting chaired by the late Dato’ Megat Junid, Deputy Home Minister, in early 1986 with the following people present:
Ketua Setiausaha Negara Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji
Three top gun from Bukit Aman Police
Setiausaha KDN Datuk Mohd Yaakub
Sabah Director of Immigration Datuk Dusmi Ibrahim
Ketua Pengarah Immigration Negara Datuk Halim Harun
Timbalan Ketua Pengarah Pendaftaran Negara
Ketua Setiausaha Sulit Azmin
Datuk Yahya Lampong and Hassnar Ibrahim himself

Hassnar and Yahya Lampong were there under instruction by Tan Sri Harris Salleh. Hassnar further testified that Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji had reservation about this exercise but Dato’ Megat briefed the committee that Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir had approved it. The testimony was unchallenged, Datuk Chairman and YB YB. Appendix (11) is an extract of the Note of Proceeding relevant to the above.

The phrase Project Mahathir was first revealed publicly in 1992 – an illegal immigrant told a Magistrate Court Judge that he got his IC from “Project President Mahathir” (Appendix 12). This person got registered in the Sabah rolls after release from two years’ jail and is still currently so. His new IC is coded 12.

There was a Public Hearing in 1998 chaired by an EC Registering Officer to hear objections on applicants who wanted to become registered voters in Likas Constituency. Some of those who were objected to came and when asked on where they were born, the answer was their country of origin; but their new IC numbers were coded 12. When asked on how they obtained their ICs, the answer was: from “Project Mahathir”. However, all objectees except one were accepted by EC. This Registering Officer told the Court the same during the 1999 Likas election petition trial.


  1. Bravo Dr Chong ! Keep voicing our voices..! Tq

  2. The issue of Phantom voters in Sabah must be resolved amicably before it gets worse. From my understanding after reading your article, how can the population in Sabah went up so high.

    Some where is going on very2 wrong in the current BN administration of Sabah.

    The corrupted politicians of the ruling BN government must be put in prison when Pakatan Rakyat goes to Putrajaya. Leave no stones unturned.

  3. All UMNO BN CORRUPTED POLITICIANS must be put in prison when the times comes because they have betray the people of MALAYSIA AND DEMOCRACY...

    To all this robbers of Malaysia, Democracy means nothing to them. What means to them most is MONEY...



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