Project IC is the name used in Malaysia to describe the allegation of systematic granting of citizenship to immigrants (whether illegal or legal immigrants) by giving them identity documents known as IC (identity card), and subsequently, MyKad. The alleged practice is centered in the state of Sabah in East Malaysia. The term is used mainly by the media as well as other political commentators and the general public. Another term used is Project M, where “M” stood for Mahathir Mohamad, the former prime minister of Malaysia due to his being allegedly involved in the spearheading of this project. The alleged object of Project IC is to alter the demographic pattern of Sabah to make it more favorable to the ruling government and certain political parties, especially with regards to changing the electoral voting patterns.
The project, in its widespread and intensive form, is suspected to have begun in the early 1990s after the entry of United Malays National Organisation(UMNO) into Sabah politics. However, there were also allegations of mass immigration and naturalization of migrants in the 1970s under the United Sabah National Organization (USNO) government, and in the early 1980s under BERJAYA government. On a nationwide scale, illegal immigration is a major social issue. The problem is linked with alleged phantom voters also seen in other parts of Malaysia during elections.