A former Sabah National Registration Department (NRD) officer has provided the clearest proof yet that there was indeed a concerted effort by the authorities to alter Sabah's electoral demographics in the 1990s.
Testifying before the royal commission of inquiry (RCI) on Sabah's immigration problems today, Mohd Nasir Sugip said his department had once taken instructions from the state Election Commission (EC) to provide unqualified immigrants with identity card numbers so that they could vote in the election.
Mohd Nasir, who was once detained under the Internal Security Act, said the clandestine scheme was dubbed 'Ops Durian Buruk' and ran from 1992 to 1995.
"At that time, Sabah SPR director Wan Ahmad (Wan Yusof, left ) handed over a list of 16,000 names to be made into 'bumiputera Islam' voters.
"My boss, Sabah NRD director Ramli Kamarudin, then verbally told me to execute this project," he said.
Mohd Nasir also implicated three other individuals who were present when the instruction was issued.
However, their names could not be obtained as the RCI conducting officers - representatives of the Attorney-General's Chambers - were not forthcoming.
'It worked, BN won'
Mohd Nasir said he followed the instructions given to him and recruited other unnamed officers at the district level for this operation.
He said the operation involved providing the immigrants with new identity card numbers based on the date of birth, photographs and names provided by the EC.
"The list consisted of Filipinos and Indonesians who were Muslim and aged above 21 years," he said, adding that they were mostly from Sandakan, Tawau, Sempoerna and other parts of Sabah.
These individuals are then planted as voters across Sabah with the objective of boosting the number of Muslim voters in the state.
"An example is in the state assembly seat of Sugut and the parliamentary seat of Kinabatangan.
"We planted about 800 voters in Sugut and in the next general election, the result was in favour of BN. The candidate won by 79 votes," he said.
Mohd Nasir said he did not receive any gratification for taking part in the operation. He was only following instructions, and for this he was detained under the Internal Security Act, for three years from May 30, 1995.
[More to follow]