Former Sabah NRD deputy director Mohd Nasir Sugip, who worked in Sabah NRD from 1992 to 1994, told the RCI today that the then-Sabah EC director, Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Yusof, had ordered Sabah NRD to change the names of Indonesian and Filipino immigrants to increase the number of Muslim voters in Sabah.
Wan Ahmad’s full name was not given.
“Ops Durian Buruk (Spoilt Durian) is an operation that involves changing and creating new names from the names given by SPR,” said Nasir at the RCI here today, referring to the EC by its Malay acronym.
“It means that the names were changed, IC numbers were changed, date of birth was changed... and their pictures,” he added.
Nasir said he was detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) from 1995 to 1998 for giving identity cards to unqualified immigrants.
Nasir added that 800 names had been handed to the Sugut state and the Kinabatangan parliamentary constituencies.
“As far as I remember, the results of the elections favoured Barisan Nasional (BN), YB Datuk Surady Kayong,” he said.
BN candidate Surady had defeated Parti Bersatu Sabah’s (PBS) Jublee KK Zen in Sugut during the 1994 state election with a razor-sharp margin of 79 votes.
Surady is currently the assistant minister of local government and housing in Sabah.
But Nasir denied receiving bribes for his role in the exercise.
“I just followed instructions... and I signed a pledge with my director,” he said.
Asked if there was a pact between the EC and the NRD to increase the number of voters in Sabah, he said: “There was some co-operation and collaboration between [the NRD] and [EC] in this kind of exercise.”
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’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 for their votes.
But former Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Harris Salleh, who administered the state from 1976 to 1985, denied yesterday the existence of “Project IC”.