Thursday, October 9, 2008


Woman gets replacement for lost MyKad at last


Local Sino-Kadazan woman Yong Lee Hua Piang Lin, who has been at the centre of a controversy over ‘revoked’ citizenship rights, has finally received the replacement for her MyKad that was stolen by a pickpocket. The 78-year-old was given a red identity card meant for a permanent resident after losing her MyKad sometime in February last year. The highly emotional Yong said; “I got this blue MyKad in just three minutes but I had been waiting for two years to get it. “I want to know why they put me through all this,” she added yesterday after receiving the card. Yong’s bank accounts were frozen after she was issued with the permanent resident identity card. She said: “They made me wait for almost two years to get my MyKad but it took them just three minutes to re-issue the card I just want to know the reason why I was made to wait that long.” Her plight was raised by United Pasok Momogun Kadazan Dusun Murut Organisation’s Citizenship and Security Bureau, which is headed by Moyog Assemblyman cum Assistant Resource Development and Information Technology Minister, Donald Datuk Peter Mojuntin. Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, who was at the State National Registration Department yesterday, said he had decided to consider granting the citizenship to Yong who is a genuine case. Syed Hamid however said Yong was Yong Lee never registered as a citizen and held a permanent resident status but was mistakenly issued with a blue identity card in 1996. It was only when she lost her MyKad that NRD officials realised she was not a registered citizen and reverted her status to that of a permanent resident, he said while stressing that there was no conspiracy involved in the NRD decision. Syed Hamid said he is aware of various citizenship applications involving local Sabahans and assured that each application would be studied carefully and genuine cases would be resolved. “All cases can be handled without turning into a controversy,” he said, adding that native Sabahans are rightful Malaysians, but explained that Malaysia does not allow dual citizenship. He said he had directed NRD to clarify the various procedures for applications for permanent resident status and also citizenship as such matters are not right but a privilege. The press conference was briefly disrupted when Yong’s son burst into the room and wanted to know why he was disallowed to enter. “I thought I have the right to know what happened. How come I am not allowed in by this officer (pointing at one of the NRD officers)? This is not right,” he said. Syed Hamid, who was in the middle of explaining a procedure, had to calm him down and told him that he would provide him time to discuss the matter. “I will see you later and talk about this. This is a pres conference and it is for the press only,” he said. Syed Hamid later said he understood the frustration faced by the people, especially those who had waited for so long to get their applications approved. Mojuntin, when contacted, said he was happy that their objective of getting a MyKad for Yong was achieved. “This is a good beginning for many others. This also shows that we are not out to politicise the issue but are fighting for the people’s rights,” he said. On the appointment of Sabah-born Abdul Jaffear Henry as the new NRD Director, Mojuntin said: “It is good to have.a local there as he is more well-versed and understands the local issues better. He would be able to deal with issues pertaining to loss of citizenship, illegal immigrants and 1MM 13 holders well” However he said the new NRD Director must be sensitive to the environment, adding: “There is no point of having a Sabahan to head the Department if he is not sensitive to his surroundings. But I have the impression that he will be able to do his job well, that was the 1st impression I got when I first saw him... first impression does count.”