KUALA LUMPUR: Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad should not accuse the present government of crimes he committed in the past, said Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He was responding to Mahathir’s claim of a grand plan by the Najib Razak administration to issue identity cards to thousands of foreigners in order to ensure BN’s victory at the next general election.
“Mahathir had held the home minister’s portfolio. He knows of the rigorous process in obtaining a resident pass, what more citizenship,” said Zahid in an interview with FMT today.
“Maybe he had done it in the past, but we don’t plan on making the same mistakes he did.
“So don’t accuse us of committing the same crimes he once committed.”
Mahathir, at a gathering in Kampung Krubong Tengah, Malacca, on Saturday, claimed 5,000 voters would be distributed to each of the seats the BN considered as “marginal”.
Similar allegations were raised during the 2013 general election, when it was claimed that thousands of foreigners were made instant citizens to allow them to vote.
Zahid refuted this and said the government had been burdened with the task of cleaning up the mess left by Mahathir who, in 2003, had resigned as premier, a post he held for over 22 years.
“There is too much to tell,” said Zahid when asked to list the “mess” he was referring to.
“I don’t want to expose the faults of others. We must respect the decisions made by the government and the party, even the ones decided by past leaders.”
Zahid, who is also the home minister, however mentioned Sabah’s illegal immigrant problem, saying the government was “forced to form a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI)” on this.
The RCI was set up on August 2012 to investigate the problems relating to citizenship, migrants in Sabah and “Projek IC” — the alleged systematic granting of citizenship to foreigners. -FMT