Najib denies Barisan’s involvement in issuing ICs to foreigners

KOTA KINABALU: Barisan Nasional is not involved in issuing Malaysian identification cards to foreigners, says Datuk Seri Najib Razak (pic).

“We are not involved in giving out ICs. We’re not.

“Whatever happened in the past, we want it to be corrected,” the former prime minister said at a press conference after delivering a talk at the ITCC Hall in Penampang on Saturday (July 2).

The Barisan Nasional advisor was responding to accusations by Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili that a party in the previous Barisan government had given out ICs.

Najib said during his time as prime minister between 2009-2018, he had put a PBS leader in charge of sorting out the issue, apparently referring to the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the illegal immigrant woes in Sabah in 2013, and the subsequent appointment of former PBS president Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan to head one of the committees to implement various recommendations from the RCI report.

Asked why Ongkili, a former minister in his Cabinet, had brought up the accusation during the recent PBS congress, Najib replied: “I don’t know why he did it”.

Najib said what was important for Sabah was to strengthen its borders and security and work towards the development of the state.

On Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s call for Barisan leaders and members to stop attacks on the government, Najib said Umno fully supported Ismail as prime minister.

“We did not attack him (Ismail Sabri). Maybe there are several who attack but they are not from Umno.

“Ismail Sabri has the support of Umno,” he said.

On whether Barisan could win back its one-time stronghold of Sabah, the Pekan MP said they hoped to have a good margin of victory and such spirit had to be portrayed from the grassroots up.

On other matters, Najib said Sabah and Sarawak have high potential for development and Barisan would be focusing on a Dasar Pandang Borneo (Look To Borneo) policy.

He said with Indonesia shifting its capital to Kalimantan, there was a need to push economic activities in these two states.

“Sabah itself has one of the best tourism products with its natural resources. With a good tourism master plan there will be a lot of high-paying job and business opportunities,” he said.

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