Yong attacked over ‘phantom voters’
Former senator Dr Chong Eng Leong has offered his assistance to any institution or group wanting to rid the electoral rolls of phantoms voters.KOTA KINABALU: Political activist Dr Chong Eng Leong, already under attack by ex-chief minister Harris Salleh for his outspokeness over the illegal immigrant issue, has now trained his guns on another former Sabah chief minister.
This time Chong, a former senator, alleged that Yong Teck Lee, who is now in the opposition ranks with his Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), was a beneficiary of phantom voters in Likas, during the 1999 general election.
“Yong, you were not a victim of phantom voters in Likas, you were not the scapegoat – you got their votes and for this it was not your fault but it was what BN wanted.
“Loss of your YB status then had nothing to do with phantom voters in Likas rolls.
“It was Harris Salleh’s petition against you that cost you your YBship – your election billboards contravened election laws,” Chong pointed out yesterday in response to Yong’s statement.
Chong, who is a former Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) member, is now with PKR.
Acknowledging that the subsequent Likas election petition in the same year had exposed the method by which ICs were being issued using falsified SDs (Statutory Declarations), Chong said as the petitioner he did not stop at the Likas roll after the trial.
He also said that he had not “conveniently and consistently ignored the existence of phantom voters in other places like Kawang” as claimed by Yong in his statement.
“In fact I further probed into the whole Sabah rolls. That’s how I traced the 70,000 names in the Sabah rolls, names corresponding to the Project IC numbers disclosed in the trial and Kawang had 1,292 phantom voters,” Chong added.
No political will
He however agreed with Yong that it is possible to rid the rolls of phantoms – only if the central government has the political will to do it.
“And I am more then willing to help any body or institution like SAPP towards this end, after all it is for Sabah’s sovereignty within Malaysia,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a statement carried by the local newspapers, Harris on Monday accused Chong of “repeatedly instigating matters on racial and religious issues” and said that his Yayasan Islam Sabah will lodge a police report against him.
He criticised Chong for singling out Malays and Muslims as the beneficiaries of the alleged secret project to issue citizenship to foreign immigrants in order to build a vote bank for the ruling Barisan Nasional government.