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Wind of Change

Saturday, October 1, 2011

'No proof of Project IC'
Published on: Friday, September 30, 2011

Kota Kinabalu: Deputy Home Minister Dato' Lee Chee Leong has denied allegations by opposition parties about the existence of the so-called Project IC which was supposedly started by an Umno task force in the 1990s.
He said the Government had asked the opposition to provide proof regarding the allegations for many years, but had yet to receive any until today.
"I don't see any way how they (immigrants) could get their identification card just like that, because every applicant needs to go through all sorts of procedure to get them," he said.
"So this is not true," he said, stressing that the Ministry denies such claims.
He was speaking after presenting citizenship certificates to 23 applicants at the Federal Administration Complex on Thursday.
It was claimed that the Project IC had benefited at least 600,000 foreigners in 2005 who were given Malaysian ICs through falsified SD (statutory declarations) in 1991.
The purpose of the task force, as claimed by some, was to seek out foreigners and issue them with Malaysian ICs and register them as Umno members and voters to be placed in 30 out of the 48 state constituencies during that time.
Meanwhile, foreigners who have applied for Malaysian citizenship have been urged to follow-up with the National Registration Department.
Lee said there are still a number of people whose applications have been approved by the Government but who are not traceable.
"The 23 recipients today are those the Department are able to trace and locate, and there are still quite a number of people who are not able to be found.
Those who have applied for the Malaysian citizenship should check with the NRD to see whether their applications have been approved," he said, adding that those who have changed their addresses should inform the department once they do so.
He also stated that the outcome of applications would be announced within a year from the date of submission.
Also present was Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister's Department, Datuk Edward Khoo and City Police Chief, ACP Ahmad Sofi Zakaria among others.
Lee, Khoo and Sofi among other guests posing for the camera with the citizenship recipients.


Published on: Friday, September 30, 2011
Kota Kinabalu: Sabah has the most migrant workers in the country, recording a 44.7 per cent increase from 614,824 in 2000 to 889,779 in 2010.
Women, Family and Community Ministry Secretary General, Dato Dr Noorul Mohd Nur, said this after launching the Indonesian Workers in Tawau Seminar Findings here, Thursday.
The figures were based on the 2010 Population and Housing Census, which shows 27.7 per cent out of the 3.2 million population in Sabah comprised migrant workers with a majority of them being Indonesians.
"In 2000, Sandakan recorded the most migrant workers (114,230).
However in 2010, Tawau recorded the most (171,409) most of whom are Indonesians," she said.
She said that in the context of the nation's development, especially Sabah, the focus was on legal migrant workers and not illegal migrants.
"A research conducted in 2010 by the Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN) in Tawau, which is an agency under the Ministry disclosed three main reasons for the influx. First was for reasons of employment, second was to garner higher income and third was to follow their spouse or relatives who have entered the State.
"Even though the intake of migrant workers has assisted in the economic growth of the nation, the government takes seriously the issues concerning the influx of migrant workers because of the negative implications such as remittances.
"Among steps taken is to monitor and control the number of migrant workers entering the country. However, local employers should also offer more jobs opportunities to the local community.
"There are many employers who prefer employing migrant workers due to the cheaper labour compared to the locals, which deprives our locals from obtaining employment in various sectors mainly plantation, manufacturing and service sectors," she said.
She disclosed that a policy is being formulated by the Economic Planning Unit and the Government on how to ensure local workers are not excluded in these sectors.
Commenting on the implementation of high technology in the sectors, she said: "Employers prefer to take in migrant workers even though they are unskilled due to the cheaper labour.
"Many of the employers do not use high technology because it would mean they have to employ skilled workers which costs higher than unskilled workers.
"If we don't implement technology now, then our country will not achieve our target of being a developed economic nation by 2020," she said.
Towards its end, she said it is important for the State Government to review the employment categories and competency level, which is needed in human resources development.
"This step is necessary because if many of the jobs offered are for unskilled or semi-skilled workers, despite the fact that many locals have achieved tertiary education, then the work generated would not benefit the community.
"In line with the implementation of the Sabah Development Corridor, the State is expected to face a major transformation by 2025," she said.
"The State's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) can by then expect to increase to RM63.2 billion with per capita increasing to RM14,800.
"Based on the analysis by the SDC, the unemployment rate in the State will be decreased to 3.5 per cent and new job opportunities are expected to increase to 900,000 by year 2025," she said, advising locals to grab the job opportunities offered through the SDC.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Leaked cable: Ex-EC chief issued 60,000 fake ICs

If the below is true.......this the present from UMNO to the Sabahan people........
Malaysiakini - Joseph Sipalan (View expressed here is solely the opinion of the source)
A leaked US Embassy cable carries an explosive charge against former Election Commission (EC) chief Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahim - that he admitted to issuing more than 60,000 fake Malaysian identity cards to foreign workers in Sabah in the 1990s - on Umno's orders.
abdul rashid abdul rahmanThe cable, posted on Wikileaks, quotes former Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (Mafrel) chief Malek Husin as claiming that Rashid confessed this to him during a private meeting at Rashid's house on Oct 25, 2006.

In the cable marked confidential, Malek is said to have told US Embassy officials that Rashid (left) also confirmed Umno's launch of a "shadowy" campaign in the 1990s to wrest political control of Sabah - held until 1994 by the then opposition front PBS.

"During that decade, Umno granted citizenship and Malaysian identity cards to over 600,000 foreign migrant workers (predominantly Muslims from Indonesia and Mindanao in the Philippines) in Sabah, in exchange for their votes in state assembly elections.

"According to Husin, Rashid 'admitted to personally issuing over 60,000 fraudulent Malaysian ICs in Sabah', to help Umno assume political control there," the cable says.

Instant citizenship and voting rights for illegal immigrants have long been an issue in Sabah, with local leaders in and outside the BN coalition having repeatedly demanded a solution from the federal government.

However, nothing has come out of their demands.

mahathir mohamad hari raya open house 2It is claimed that the situation became acute in the 1990s, with the blame placed on the then Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad for allegedly launching what is now called 'Projek IC' - a clandestine operation said to involve the National Registration Department, related government agencies and their agents - to artificially boosting votes in favour of Umno and the BN.

In the 1994 state election, PBS - which held Sabah as an independent opposition front since 1985 - saw its majority hold of the state assembly reduced to a razor-thin margin over the BN.

Although PBS was eventually toppled with a string of defections to the BN by party stalwarts, many blamed the contentious 'Projek IC' for playing a major role in the success of BN's hostile takeover of the Sabah.

Wan Ahmad is 'anti-reform'

The cable, created on March 16, 2007, also includes Malek's claim that Rashid had also described EC deputy chief Wan Ahmad Wan Omar as "an Umno member who is anti-reform".

Malek is said to have told US Embassy officials that Rashid had intended to stay on as EC chief until "the number two is gone", with the aim of easing in the then EC secretary, Kamaruzaman Mohd Noor, as his successor.

In a separate meeting with Kamaruzaman, the cable quoted him as telling US Embassy officials that the EC was not in a position to push for reforms, as each and every proposal must go through the Prime Minister's Office for approval.

Kamaruzaman is also reported to have said that the EC had no power to investigate election day abuses, with it having to refer allegations of fraud or election tampering to either the police or the Anti-Corruption Agency, the predecessor of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

Battle for polls reform 'very steep'

Based on meetings among US Embassy officials and the EC, Mafrel, Bersih and several academicians, the cable summarised that electoral reforms in Malaysia faced a "very steep uphill battle" as it moved towards the March 2008 general election - which ironically proved to be a watershed outing for opposition parties, which were able to deny the BN a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

The cable described the "Umno-led BN governing coalition" as keeping a tight rein over all important levers of power, including the EC, leaving little wiggle room for any efforts to open up the country's elections to greater transparency and fairness.

It pointed out that despite concerted efforts by Mafrel and Bersih to push for grassroots engagement in their bid for a revamp of an electoral system heavily tilted in BN's favour, "their best efforts will almost certainly not produce meaningful reforms", at least in the medium term.

"Umno, in power since independence, faces no effective public, opposition party or internal pressure to reduce its overwhelming powers of incumbency," the cable states.