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Pakistani gets countryman blue IC in 20 days

NONESoon after 54-year-old Pakistani national Prabesh Khan Hussein Khan arrived in Sabah in 1992, he was told that Pakistani, Indian, Indonesian and Filipino nationals can get Malaysian citizenship easily.

A Pakistani comrade by the name of Ikram told Prabesh that he (Ikram) could make this possible for a mere RM330, Prabesh told the royal commission of inquiry on Sabah immigrants today.

Prabesh then filled up a yellow National Registration Department form, placed his thumb print on the document and submitted it to Ikram together with eight photographs.

"Is it true that in 20 days Ikram returned and gave you an identity card with the name 'Mohd Sharif Sakar' ?" RCI conducting officer Jamil Aripin asked the witness at the Kota Kinabalu court complex.

Prabesh said 'yes', and added that the date of issue of the identity card was backdated to Nov 16, 1985.

The photograph on the IC was that of his, he added.

"I wanted to use my own name, but Ikram said this could not be done. I didn't choose my birth place either... he listed it for me as 'Tawau'," Prabesh said.

He then went to vote in the 1999 Sabah state election, in the constituency of Likas, but was not allowed to.

"I didn't know that I needed to register first," he said.

In a limbo now

In 2011, Prabesh said, he tried to change his identity card to a new one, but his IC was confiscated by the NRD.

Asked if he knew of a syndicate selling identity cards and that he may have fallen victim to it, he replied: "I don't know".

However, Prabesh said, he was now in limbo, since the confiscation of his IC.

The witness said he had started a new life in the state, marrying a Sabahan in 2002 and they now have two children.

"I just want my identity card back. If it is not valid, then at least make me a permanent resident," Prabesh added.

A total of nine witnesses testified today, with one being recalled to testify again today. To date a total of 37 witnesses have testified before the RCI.

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