Recently Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said that staff of the Home Ministry who are involved in providing MyKads to illegal immigrants would be severely dealt with . But I feel it is unfair to only punish these people. What about politicians who are involved in helping foreigners acquire genuine Malaysian identification documents?
Here in Sabah it is no secret that the 'legalisation' of illegal immigrants has helped in bringing the United Malays National Organisation (Umno) to power in the state. It is also laughable that the United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Organisation (Upko) is calling for harsher penalties on those involved in helping illegals get genuine identification documents.
During the1999 elections, Upko (then known as PDS) had worked hand-in-hand with Umno to bring down the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS). PBS had at that time voiced its concern about foreigners voting in the elections. To say that Upko was unaware of such a thing would be amusing.
The whole of Sabah knew it.
Several Sabah politicians are known to have had the help of foreigners in the election. During Chong Kah Kiat's term as chief minister, there was a large-scale demolition of immigrant settlements.
In one area in Keningau, angry Filipinos who had their houses demolished threatened to report the matter to Sairin Karno and Rizalman Abdullah. Why would these Filipinos turn to them?
And during the demolition exercise of several illegal Filipino houses in Lahad Datu, Yusuf Jamli (who was no longer an assemblyman by then) had protested against the demolition. Why?
Getting identification documents had, until very recently, been an easy game for foreigners. They would only need a statutory declaration and a letter of verification from their village heads.
There was one native chief in Tungku who was sacked because the way he helped these foreigners became too obvious. There is also this assemblyman who was known to help sign papers for children of foreigners so that they need not pay extra fees in schools
There are also many within the ranks of Sabah Umno, including currently assemblymen and members of parliament, who were involved in this. Between 1985-2002 alone, thousands of national registration identity cards could have been given out to illegal immigrants.
One need only read IC Palsu written by MD Mutalib and Epic of Sabah written by Joshua Kong to see the severity of the problem. These books look into detail the rise in the number of so-called 'Malaysians' in Sabah.
I had on one occasion met an Indonesian man with a Malaysian identity card. I asked him how he obtained the card. He said it was all through his father's 'wisdom'.
He admitted that he and his father had arrived in Sabah illegally. He also boasted that during every Umno gathering in Beaufort, there would be more than a thousand Indonesians turning up - all with Malaysian identification cards.
If the government really wants to be fair, then it should also take action against these politicians. The government should also revoke all national identification documents which have been illegally issued to foreigners since the early 1980s. The government should also look into how these foreigners managed to obtain privileges meant only for bumiputeras.