By Ida Lim
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17 – Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said he is willing to testify before a royal inquiry which is probing claims that citizenships were given to illegal immigrants in Sabah during his administration.
Dr Mahathir (picture) was asked if the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI), which is in its fourth day of hearing, had subpoenaed him to be a witness.
“No. Not yet. But if they ask me, I will go,” he said.
“I’ve never turned down any subpoena, I’ve appeared before this commission before, different commission,” he added, in an apparent reference to his testifying before an RCI that was probing a scandal involving high-profile lawyer V.K. Lingam.
Dr Mahathir, the country’s longest serving prime minister who was in power from 1981 to 2003, has been accused of spearheading the so-called “Project IC”, in which citizenships were allegedly given to immigrants in exchange for their votes.
But former Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Harris Salleh, who administered the state from 1976 to 1985, denied on Tuesday the existence of “Project IC”.
Yesterday, the late former deputy home affairs minister Tan Sri Megat Junid Megat Ayub was accused of ordering the National Registration Department (NRD)’s Sabah branch to issue temporary documents to allow immigrants to vote in a 1994 state election.