Thursday January 17, 2013
Ex-NRD director claims Megat Junid directed issuance of ID receipts
By RUBEN SARIO and STEPHANIE LEE
KOTA KINABALU: A former Sabah National Registration Department (NRD) director has claimed that former Deputy Home Minister, the late Tan Sri Megat Junid Megat Ayub, directed the issuance of temporary identification receipts for lost or damaged ICs to foreigners.
Ramli Kamaruddin told the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) that he and other senior officers were summoned to meet Megat Junid at a hotel here two weeks before the 1994 state election, which was also attended by former Chief Minister Datuk Osu Sukam.
The foreigners, he alleged, were to be added as voters in constituencies classified as “black” and “grey” by Barisan Nasional.
Questioned by conducting officer Azmi Ariffin, Ramli claimed that an average of 200 foreigners were sent to vote in such areas although, in some constituencies, this could be as high as 400, adding that the receipts were revoked three months later.
“The receipts belonged to Malaysians but the information, names, dates of birth and photographs were those of the foreigners,” he said, adding that these “voters” were given about RM20 as compensation for not going to work on the day they cast their ballot.
Ramli also claimed that prior to taking over as state NRD director in March 1993, he was called for a briefing at the National Security Council in Kuala Lumpur, during which he was asked to help ensure a “pro-Islamic” government in Sabah.
To several questions, Ramli, who was detained under the Internal Security Act for two years in 1995 for issuing identification documents to foreigners, said the party in power then was Parti Bersatu Sabah while the Chief Minister was Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan.
Meanwhile, former senior NRD officer Kee Dzulkifly Kee Abdul Jalil told the inquiry that a special unit – G17 – was set up at the state department headquarters here in 1990 to give out Malaysian documents to foreigners, adding that some 100,000 blue ICs and 200,000 birth certificates were issued.
In a statement, NRD senior assistant director Roslan Alias said about 10% of the 970,119 ICs issued in Sabah between 1976 and 1996 were found to be “problematic”.
Some 127,949 ICs were also found to have been “improperly” issued during the 20-year period, said Roslan, adding that 91,656 were subsequently revoked.
After an internal probe, Roslan said a number of its staff were later arrested.
Earlier, former ISA detainee Mohd Nasir Sungit claimed both the NRD and the Election Commission (EC) had “collaborated” to increase the number of Muslim voters in Sabah between 1992 and 1993.
Mohd Nasir, who was deputy director at the department between 1980 and 1995, alleged that the “targets” in the exercise – codenamed Ops Durian Buruk – were Muslim Filipinos and Indonesians above the age of 21.
He said the then Sabah EC director – whom he identified as “Datuk Wan Ahmad” – had handed a list of about 16,000 names to an NRD officer, Azmi Abdul Karim, with instructions that these were to be “used” as Sabah Muslim bumiputras.
Ramli, he said, verbally instructed him to amend details in JPN1/9 and JPN1/11, which were temporary identification receipts for IC renewals and losses, based on the names in the list.
He also alleged that besides officers at Sabah NRD headquarters, others involved were department staff at various districts here.
Mohd Nasir said that “800 of those holding these receipts were registered as voters in the Sugut state seat within the Kinabatangan parliamentary constituency, which Barisan Nasional won with a 70-vote majority in the following election”.