Now, Mahathir accuses Putrajaya of its own 'Project IC'

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Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who during his tenure as prime minister was accused of engineering 'Project IC', has now accused the current government of implementing a citizenship-for-votes scheme.

He made the allegation when commenting on how democratic elections can be abused to install dictators or kleptocrats.

"Foreigners can be used to vote for the party in power. For example, if there are many foreigners in the country, for whatever reason, they can be given citizenship and registered as voters.

"Foreigners with passports of other countries have been found possessing Malaysian identification cards," Mahathir said in a blog posting today.

During Mahathir's tenure, he was accused of arbitrarily granting citizenship to Muslim foreigners in Sabah, in exchange for their votes, thereby altering the demography of the state in the process.

This was referred to as ''Project IC' and prompted a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) in 2012, after decades of demands by local Sabahans.

The inquiry concluded that 'Project IC' "probably" existed, but blamed it on rogue elements and criminal syndicates.

During the RCI hearing, several of those implicated were officials with the National Security Council (NSC), including two National Registration Department heads who were seconded from the council, which was chaired by the prime minister.

The presence of foreigners in the electoral roll had even prompted the Kota Kinabalu High Court to declare the election results in Likas as null and void in the 1999 state election.

Following the decision, Mahathir's administration amended the federal constitution to disallow the courts from reviewing the electoral roll.

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