PETALING JAYA: Former Inspector-General of Police Tun Hanif Omar (pic) recalled that an Indonesian was nabbed with a Malaysian identity card a week after new security features were introduced.
He said the case happened in the 1990s when currency printer Thomas de la Rue was given the contract to supply new ICs with “enhanced security features”, but police arrested the Indonesian illegal immigrant with the new card barely a week after the launch of the new documents.
“It had been lost by the owner and the Indonesian’s details had been inserted into it.
“The then Bukit Aman CID director Datuk Zaman Khan reported this in one of my police directors’ morning conferences and the matter was also reported to the Home Ministry,” he told The Star in text messages from London where he is on holiday.
He said a de la Rue representative was invited to brief police chiefs on the new cards with unbreakable safety features at an Interpol regional conference in Mongolia in 1993.
“I immediately questioned the claim, and brought up that one case of failure we had discovered in Kuala Lumpur.
“The company’s representative explained that Malaysia did not buy sufficient safety features to preclude successful tampering,” he said.
Hanif said the Government should have set up the RCI earlier so that the ramifications of the problem could have been exposed and dealt with swiftly.
“I wonder how many of these ICs were genuine documents with genuine particulars, and how many were genuine documents with false entries?” he questioned.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the RCI’s findings on the issue of Sabah’s immigrants has exonerated the Federal Government and the Home Ministry of any involvement in the so-called “Project IC”.
He added the report showed the Government’s uncompromising stand in the matter, having detained a number of Immigration and National Registration Department (NRD) officers under the ISA in connection with the issue.
“We have never denied that some officers were colluding with syndicates,” he said when contacted yesterday.
He added that the NRD should make an effort to track down those with fake ICs.
“Foreigners who willingly accepted the fake ICs should be stripped of citizenship and deported to their home countries.
“The police and the Immigration Department should also track down the syndicates behind the distribution of the fake ICs,” he added.
- More stories on the RCI report
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