Thursday, October 16, 2008


Bona-fide citizens feel insulted, discriminated


A group of bona-fide Malaysians felt insulted and discriminated over the denial of their rightful citizenship, despite the fact that they were born in Sabah, some even before Malaysia was formed in 1963. These locals who were issued with the red Identity Card (IC), mainly due to non-registration of their birth by their parents besides other complications, especially felt that they were treated worse than the immigrants from neighbouring countries. “It is rather insulting, especially when you realized that even your immigrant workers could easily obtain citizenship status and were given the MyKad after having stayed and worked in Sabah for several years,” said one of the red IC holders during a recent meeting session with Luyang Assemblywoman Melanie Chia. The complainant who only wished to be known as Yuen, claimed that with the possession of MyKad and Malaysian citizenship, some of these immigrant workers had later become their own bosses competing with him and the other locals in doing businesses. Yuen was born in Sandakan in 1949 but was given a red IC by the NRD when he turned 12, simply because his parents did not register his birth, despite the fact that both his parents possessed Malaysian citizenship. Currently running his own food business, Yuen had been applying for his citizenship status for more than three decades now since 1973 but has been unsuccessful. Among others, he noted that while he too had been paying taxes to the Government, he nonetheless did not get to enjoy the same benefit as the other taxpayers, including the RM625 fuel rebate paid to car owners by the Government, following the drastic hike in fuel prices in April this year. His current status had also deprived him from visiting his relatives and friends abroad as he cannot apply for an international passport. Another disgruntled red IC holder lamented that the NRD had asked her to first obtain a clearance from the Chinese Government to prove that she is not a Chinese national, when she filed for her citizenship application. “I never felt so insulted in my life until that particular moment,” she sighed. Like the case of Yong Lee Hua @ Piang Lin, this Lahad Datu born complainant too was given a red IC when she applied for a new IC. to replace the MyKad which she lost when her house was broken into last year.