KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 31 – Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today suggested Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s involvement in the issuance of identity cards to illegal immigrants in Sabah but he admitted having no proof to back his claim.
The former prime minister (picture) alleged that the so-called “Project IC” might have happened without any knowledge and orders from the top.
“(Anwar) had a hand, but in the IC project, what happens on the ground isn’t always what the directives are all about,” Dr Mahathir told reporters here.
“What they do on the ground is sometimes different from the instructions that are given.”
He insisted that he has only now heard about the “wrongful things” being done on the ground in Sabah.
“Yes, it’s his own initiative,” replied Dr Mahathir when asked whether the exercise was on Anwar’s own initiative.
Dr Mahathir had earlier joked that his former deputy prime minister can sometimes be too keen for his own good, when asked whether he had asked Anwar to handle the Project IC.
“He normally takes the initiative himself, I don’t have to tell him. He took more initiative than I would like him to,” Dr Mahathir said.
He however admitted that he has no evidence admissible in court to back his allegations regarding Anwar.
“There are things you know, but there is no documentary proof,” he added.
The veteran politician expressed his willingness to co-operate with the royal commission of inquiry (RCI) if required.
“I’d like to stick to the facts,” he stressed.
He also revealed that the government had previously taken actions against the officers found guilty of taking things into their own hands, but admitted that it would be impossible for a prime minister to constantly monitor every wrongdoings.
“Even if the PM is a Superman, he really cannot have all the time to look at every single detail,” Dr Mahathir said.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, 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 citizenship was 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 to the RCI the existence of “Project IC”.
Dr Mahathir told a press conference recently that foreigners in Sabah had indeed received citizenship, but stressed that it was “within the law”.