Warisan feels vindicated with PBS statement over IC issuance by a Barisan component

KOTA KINANALU: Parti Warisan feels vindicated with Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) claims that a Barisan Nasional component had helped foreigners get Malaysian Identity Cards.

Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said that PBS president Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili's disclosure at the recently concluded party congress cleared persistence attacks on Warisan to be linked with issuance of identity cards (IC).

The issue of IC issuance was used by parties from Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) and Sabah Barisan who accused Warisan of its involvement in supporting illegal immigrants.

"There was even a white paper on the issue by an independent group to state who was involved," Shafie told reporters during a meet the people session in Bongowan on Saturday (July 2).

He said the response by Umno's Usukan assemblyman Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak describing Ongkili as "ungrateful" on the issue clearly showed that Warisan was never involved in it.

"Ongkili has said that a party in Barisan was involved in issuing the ICs. Salleh has also admitted to it by calling PBS ungrateful," Shafie said, adding that the issue was used politically against Warisan by the GRS and Barisan parties.

The issue of political links to a party in the previous Sabah Barisan government involved in IC issuance, had taken a fresh controversy with Ongkili making the claim at the party congress earlier this week.

During the PBS congress, Ongkili had said the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants reported that there were parties in the then-Barisan state government that were party to issuing documents to illegal immigrants in Sabah.

He said Barisan had failed to resolve it from the start.

At the Sabah Barisan convention Saturday, Salleh hit back calling the PBS president as "ungrateful" when he made the claim that a Barisan party had helped produce dubious identification cards for foreigners.

He said Barisan could lodge a police report against Ongkili if he mentioned Barisan as the culprits for this as it could be considered defamation.

Ongkili's statement also became the focus of Sabah Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin who told Ongkili not to "play with fire" and he will bring out his misdeeds.

Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak when asked about it at a press conference during the convention said that Barisan was not involved in it but during his time they were trying to resolve it.

In a Facebook post shortly after the press conference, Najib reiterated Barisan was not involved in the IC project in the 1990s but averred responsibility to blame his predecessor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and also Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who was the deputy prime minister.

"The Barisan party that was involved in the IC project in Sabah in the 1990s was Umno under former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed.

"But Dr Mahathir said his then deputy Anwar (now Opposition Leader) was assigned to win over Sabah at the time.

"This is why I had requested a Royal Commission Inquiry (RCI) in 2013 to seek out the truth. And this is why Dr Mahathir was upset with me in 2013," he said in a Facebook post.

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