Warisan’s loss in Kimanis due to Sabahans fear of ‘Project IC’ repeating itself?

History repeated itself in Kimanis after Warisan once again losts to Barisan Nasional (BN) in the constituency. This time around, BN through its candidate Datuk Mohamad Alamin secured a higher majority of 2,029 votes against Warisan’s Karim Bujang who obtained 10,677 votes.


Barisan’s victory in Kimanis marks the coalition’s fifth victory after Cameron Highlands, Semenyih, Rantau, and Tanjung Piai. While unfulfilled manifesto promises and racially-driven issues underlined the reasons for Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) defeat in Peninsular Malaysia, it was a different ballgame in East Malaysia.


It was reported that Warisan’s loss in the recent Kimanis by-election was mainly due to the issue of Sabah Temporary Pass (PSS). So, what is PSS?



Last September, Home Affairs Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said a new document known as the Sabah Temporary Pass or Pas Sementara Sabah (PSS) will be issued to foreigners, replacing the IMM13, Kad Burong-Burong and Sijil Banci in Sabah effective June 1, 2020.


According to Muhyiddin, the introduction of PSS was to ensure that the records are being managed systematically and uniformly as there are already too many identification documents, making it difficult to enforce the law.



However, unfortunately, the introduction of PSS became controversial after it was said to grant citizenship to illegal immigrants in Sabah affecting those who are still scarred by ‘Project IC’.


The issue, which appeared as one of the main headlines of the by-election saw local politicians instilling fear in Sabahans should PSS be introduced.


In the 1990s, an initiative called ‘Project IC’ angered Sabahans, especially the Kadazandusun Murut (KDM) community. Under the project, many illegal immigrants were said to have been granted citizenship to alter the population balance in Sabah to favour the Muslim Bumiputera Community.


Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and his then deputy Anwar Ibrahim were accused to be the mastermind behind ‘Project IC’.