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Polls panel recommends RCI for Project IC, now ball in govt's court

By Nigel Aw
The parliamentary select committee (PSC) on electoral reform in its interim report today proposed the formation of a royal commission of inquiry to investigate claims that foreigners were granted citizenship and the right to vote in Sabah.

In its report, it stated that the recommendation was made following numerous complaints on Project IC during its public hearing in Kota Kinabalu last week.

"Even though this matter is wide and outside the terms of reference of this committee, but the committee recommends the formation of a royal commission of inquiry as a long-term solution," the report reads.

Malaysiakini has reported yesterday that the PSC would be seeking a probe on the long-standing allegations of a citizenship-for-votes scam in Sabah.

Project IC is allegedly a covert and concerted operation in the 1980s and 1990s to grant identity cards to foreigners with the intention of modifying the demographics of Sabah in favour of Umno

During the two-day PSC hearing in Kota Kinabalu beginning Nov 25, save for Umno, all BN and opposition party representatives had pressed their case for an RCI into the claim.

Audit of the electoral roll

The report also recommends for the Election Commission (EC) to have a confirmation exercise of all names in the electoral roll in Sabah.

As for the rest of the electoral roll, the committee recommended that EC appoints Mimos Berhad, a technology agency under the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry to conduct an audit with the following terms of reference:

  • Two persons with the same identity card number
  • Voters who have passed away but is still in the electoral roll
  • Voters aged 90 and above
  • Non-local voters
  • Large number of voters at the same address
  • And voters who have lost qualification to vote

The committee, which is led by chairperson Maximus Johnity Ongkili, added that the EC should require any request for change of address to include a statutory declaration by the applicant.

Furthermore, it wants the display period for the supplementary electoral roll by the EC to be increased from seven days to 14 days.

The report also states that limit to the number of objection as well as the RM10 fee per objection to the supplementary electoral roll be abolished.

PAS had previously monitored the supplementary electoral roll published by the EC and had filed several objections, incurring thousands of ringgit in charges.

The interim report, which is a compilation of two sessions of public hearing by the PSC in Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu, is expected to be tabled in Parliament later today.

Three more public hearings in the coming months are due in Sarawak, Kelantan and Johor Baru before the panel will be able to present its full report.


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