Monday, October 13, 2008


Birth Cert: No go if late


United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organization (UPKO) Citizenship and Security Bureau has been informed that the National Registration Department (NRD) is no longer entertaining late registration for birth certificate application. Bureau Chief, Donald Datuk Peter Mojuntin yesterday said the new policy was highlighted by affected locals who are now in a quandary as to their next course of action in the process of obtaining their birth certificate. The Assistant Minister of Resource Development and Information Technology disclosed that as Chairman of the Ministry’s Status Bumiputera Committee for Enterprises, Partnership and those hoping to get a PUKONSA certificate, he comes across cases like this very often. “One of the problems we face is a lot of the people applying for a PUKONSA certificate do not have birth certificate and when they approached the NRD to get one, they were told that late registration was no longer entertained,” he said. Mojuntin said that with the term “late registration” no longer applicable for birth certificates, it would make it like very difficult for many people. “I hope it will not he the case but that is what we heard, no more late registration,” he said. “I am worried if that is the case, and I hope it is not because there are still a lot of people out there who have not registered for the birth certificate. “I am really perplexed about the new policy; the Committee went to see the State NRD Director Abdul Rahman Mohd Nor to seek a clarification on the issue, but since he is the outgoing Director, there was nothing much he could say except assuring us that he will try to help from the NRD headquarters in Putrajaya,” Mojuntin said, adding that he had also asked for assistance to look at some cases from Sabah. Mojuntin said he has notified the new State NRD Director, Abdul Jaffear Henry that he would be seeing the latter once the Bureau and Committee he heads have compiled all the files they have now, to talk about whatever policy changes that have been made. He disclosed that legally, any late Registration of birth not be just done with a statutory declaration, as must be done before a, Magistrate “They found that we have been doing something illegal in be sense that we were registering births with the signature of one particular person like the Ketua Kampung or Wakil Ketua Anak Negeri (WKAN),” he said. According to Mojuntin, there is a provision stating that if person loses his or her birth certificate or have not registered for one, an inquiry must first be done by a Magistrate before they can proceed with the next step in the application process. These are the things that have to be tightened up, he said, adding that contrasted with all these problems is the perception that legal immigrants in Sabah are getting legal identification documents. “This is not just a perception, we have seen real evidence fit and the contrast of the ‘anak watan Sabah or son of the soul of Sabah and the problems that they face... with that in the background, it makes it so much worse,” he said. Asked whether he State NRD mobile registration service ineffective considering that many more p le in the interior of Sabah do not possess the birth certificate and would be affected by the new policy, he replied, “I think the service has not reached its full potential yet.” He said the State Mobile Court is prepared to work with the NRD mobile service on the issue. The Upko Citizenship and Security Bureau has received 18 cases so far of problems faced by locals with regard to their citizenship, he disclosed. “Within three days after Tan Sri Bernard Dompok spoke about Alice Chui and Stephan George cases, we received another 16 cases and have over the weekend received numerous calls as well as emails from people who are in the same situation,” he said. Upko, Mojuntin said, will work with anybody and everybody with the same intention to resolve the problems of the people and as far as the Bureau is concerned, its main priority is to help the people who have voiced out their problems pertaining to red IC, loss of citizenship or MyKad. He said this when asked if Upko would be working with other political parties to resolve the citizenship problem which has also been highlighted by Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) Luyang Assemblywoman Melanie Chia, who had received six cases. “One of the objectives of the Party is to help the people who have that problem and just to preempt any suggestions that we are going to politicize this, I think Puan Yong’s case proved a certain amount of point to anybody saying this. “We are just happy she got her citizenship back and that is the way we are going to work out this issue as our priority is to help the people,” he said, adding that the cases they received were not just on red IC and people losing their citizenship, there were also cases involving birth certificates, especially in the interior such as Sipitang and Paitan. The Bureau, he said, will be meeting within the next two weeks to sort out the files it has received so far and categorise them according to the problems faced by the complainants.