Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has dismissed former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s claim that the government would be giving identity cards to 700,000 Chinese nationals so that they could vote.
He said the Home Ministry has not and will not do such a thing.
“I don’t know what he did when he was leading this country and when the Home Ministry was under this stewardship, but I wish to give confidence to all Malaysians that the Home Ministry would not do such a thing and have never done such a thing,” he told reporters in Kajang today.
He compared it with the opposition’s claim during the 13th general election that BN was bringing in 40,000 Bangladeshis to fraudulently vote for BN in the election.
Although such a feat is implausible, people still believed it to be true, he said.
In a ceramah in Malacca, Mahathir claimed the government had sought a deal with China where 700,000 people would be brought into Malaysia and be provided with identity cards so that they could vote.
The 700,000 people would purportedly be housed at Forest City, which is a part of the Iskandar Malaysia region in Johor.
Johor Menteri Besar Khaled Nordin had rubbished the claim. While Khaled conceded that there may be 700,000 foreign nationals in Johor in 30 years, not all of them would come from China.
The MB said Forest City is being marketed all around the world, not only China but also places like Australia and the Middle East.
Mahathir has been accused of another citizenship-for-vote scheme dubbed ‘Project IC’ during his premiership.
This was purported to entail the immigration of large numbers of predominately Muslim immigrants into Sabah during the late-1980’s and the early 1990’s to alter the state’s demographics in Umno’s favour.
Mahathir had denied knowledge of Project IC.
A Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) report in 2014 determined that Project IC ‘probably’ exists, but the government or political parties were not involved.
Instead, the commission pinned the blame for the mass influx of foreign migrants on syndicates involving former National Registration Department officers.- Mkini