Mahathir ketika ditanya pemberita, mengakui bertanggungjawab memberi kewarganegaraan kepada pendatang asing semasa pentadbirannya.
Namun beliau mendakwa tindakan berkenaan dijalankan mengikut undang-undang.
"Kita patut tengok balik dan ingat. Tunku Abdul Rahman lebih teruk daripada saya. Dia beri sejuta kewarganegaraan kepada mereka yang tidak layak. Jadi kenapa apa yang dia (Tunku Abdul Rahman) buat tak salah dan apa yang saya buat ini salah?
"Ya saya memang buat (beri kad pengenalan), tetapi mengikut undang-undang," katanya dalam sidang media selepas program Bicara Minda Tun Mahathir di Shah Alam hari ini.
Turut hadir pada program itu ialah bekas ketua polis negara Tan Sri Musa Hassan dan bekas menteri pembangunan wanita, keluarga dan masyarakat, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.-malaysiakini
Dr M pertahan beri kewarganegaraan kepada pendatang Sabah, bertegas ikut undang-undang
Mahathir : Yes, Filipinos given citizenship, it was all legal...
Former prime minister Mahathir Mohammad said there were indeed Filipino immigrants given citizenship during the period he was premier, but insisted that everything was above board.
“Malaysia accepts foreigners to become citizens provided that they meet certain conditions.
“Many of them in Sabah were not there for a day or two, but 20 or 30 years and can speak Malay. They have the right to be citizens,” he said at a press conference today.
The long-serving premier was commenting on allegations of a citizenship-for-votes scheme in Sabah that supposedly occurred in the 1990's, when he was prime minister.
Witnesses at the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) investigating the matter had implicated Mahathir's close associates in the operation; his political secretary Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin and then-deputy home minister Megat Junid Megat Ayub (left).
However, Mahathir denied that the issuing of citizenship was meant to install a BN-friendly state government, as individual voters had the choice of who to vote for, and some supported the opposition.
When pointed out that the operation took place just two weeks before the 1994 state election, Mahathir said: "Whether that is coincidental or deliberate, I wouldn't know, but it is within the law.
"That it happened just before the election does not mean it is against the law."
He also claimed that the first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, had done worse by giving citizenship to one million unqualified people in Peninsula Malaysia, and lamented that no one had made it an issue.
Mahathir added he had yet to be subpoenaed to testify at the RCI, but is willing to do so if called.-malaysiakini
Dr M admits citizenships given out in Sabah, says nothing illegal