I am inclined to agree with the statement of Siti Aminah Mahmud who revealed her role in the issuance of 500,000 identity cards with (the racist) bumiputra status to illegal immigrants in Sabah.
About 500,000 blue identity cards (ICs) were given to Filipino and Indonesian immigrants in Sabah in the early 1990s under the orders of then-Sabah Umno chief Tun Datu Mustapha Harun, a former Umno member said today.
Siti Aminah Mahmud, who worked voluntarily in the Umno office in Kota Kinabalu, said today that the now-deceased Mustapha, who was the third chief minister of Sabah from 1967 to 1975, had told her that the ICs were issued to overthrow the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) government.
Having personally engaged with the locals and also meeting non-Malaysians who told me, with no reason to fear persecution, how they were eventually provided with MyKADs of bumiputra status — it would be very surprising if no one from those years of treachery had gained a conscience and provided actual numbers and methods of how citizenship was traded in exchange for votes.
500,000 banked votes is a big enough number to sway any election, and its repercussions can be felt today in Sabah — in which an immigrant population was exploited for political gain, at the detriment of social cohesion.
Personally, I believe that any immigrant to this country should be given the opportunity to gain citizenship. We are after all, a nation of immigrants. To deny the right of citizenship for arbitrary reasons such as place-of-birth seem an unusually contradictory policy.
However, one should be able to separate between citizenship that is properly granted, and slavery.
These immigrants from the Philippines and Indonesia are not at fault for wanting a better life. It is what each and every one of us would wish for ourselves and those whom we care for.
All the more reason that the people behind this project to enslave an entire underprivileged population simply to win votes should be put on trial, and justly punished. A perversion of the system at this level is anything but kindness.
We now have a population of recent immigrants enslaved into voting against the interests of the people. And the sad thing is, they are probably going to be further degraded — and the peoples of Sabah losing the ability to properly vote for a representative government, while Barisan Nasional continues their rule over the state unchallenged.
Justice can only be served with a government and judiciary committed to righting these wrongs. Sabah needs a change in the federal government as much as they need a change in the state government.