KOTA KINABALU - Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim denied knowledge of "Project IC", claiming he was kept out of the loop when he was in the federal cabinet from 1982 to 1998.
Speaking as a witness before the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on immigrants in Sabah here yesterday, Anwar also said he was never invited to any meeting of the National Security Council (MKN) when he was Deputy Prime Minister from 1993 to 1998.
He, however, admitted hearing of a secret task force dealing with issuing identity documents to immigrants.
Anwar, who is PKR de-facto leader, described the special task force as a "secretive operation", and believed the operation was ongoing and that the task force had never disbanded.
"I sympathise with Dr Mahathir (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) because we see evidence of this still ongoing," Anwar said when replying to conducting officer Manoj Kurup.
Anwar was the first witness at yesterday's hearing and was wearing dark sunglasses when testifying due to an eye problem.
When RCI panel head Tan Sri Steve Shim Lip Kiong asked if "Project IC" was discussed in cabinet during his tenure as deputy prime minister, he said "no", explaining that there was also no follow up by the Home Affairs Ministry.
"The Sabah ministers who highlighted the issue were probably satisfied by the explanation given by Home Affairs Ministry," he said.
Anwar, who was the 210th witness, also said that the government had the right to review citizenship documentation obtained in a dubious manner.