PETALING JAYA: A dramatic spike in the population of Sabah by 301% in three decades was a major concern of witnesses, according to the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on immigrants.
The report noted that Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) submitted a memorandum to then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, about the huge rise in population from 1970 to 2000 in Sabah.
PBS alleged that compared to Sarawak whose population only increased by 106%, Sabah’s population hike was unprecedented.
“It was quite evident that the biggest increase was in 1991, when the statistics (quoted by PBS) registered an increase of 78%,” said the RCI in its report.
PBS in its memorandum also cited figures from the Statistics Department showing that the population increase for KadazanDusunMurut(KDM) was 162%, while the spike for Bajau and Iranun was 344%.
The most drastic increase was the 1,552% spike of Malays.
“In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, these figures could be perceived as credible even though no officials from the Statistics Department have been called to verify the accuracy,” said the RCI.