Monday, October 6, 2008


NRD revamp urged
Minister says Department failed to look into citizenship cases


Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok has called for a complete overhaul of the State National Registration Department (NRD) as it is not up to standard. The United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organization (UPKO) President said the Government wants a first class delivery system for the people but it does not seem to be working that way. Speaking to reporters here yesterday, Dompok cited the case of Yong Lee Hua alias Piang Lin who had her Malaysian citizenship taken away and replaced with a Permanent Resident status instead. “She (Yong) has NT land, lived her whole life in a kampung here and has even voted but when she applied to have her lost MyKad replaced, she was given a MyPR. To me she was born well before Malaysia Day and is rightfully a citizen so there is no question as to her citizenship. “The Government Department (NRD) is supposed to look into this problem but has not done so. It therefore needs a complete revamp so that problems like this can be avoided,” he said. According to him further, Yong’s case was not the only one as there are several other citizenship cases which have yet to be resolved by the NRD. Earlier UPKO Youth Chief cum Citizenship and Security Bureau Chief Donald Datuk Peter Mójuntin introduced Alice Chui Pee, a Green Malaysian Identity Card holder and Stephan George who is a MyPR card holder Alice, 52, was born in Singapore in 1956 as her parents who are both from Papar were employed there and they returned to Sabah in 1959. Alice and her two siblings applied for Malaysian citizenship and one was issued with a MyKad while the other a MyPR. Alice’s application was not approved and all subsequent appeals were unsuccessful. Alice has never left Sabah since returning in 1959 except once in 1999 to visit her daughter who was sick in Kuala Lumpur. In Stephan’s case, he was born in Brunei in 1956 and returned to Sabah in 1958. He has applied for his citizenship since 1975 but the only response he has received from NRD was that his application is being processed. The last time he checked with NRD, he was informed by the staff that his application was now with the Police and the process may take one year. “In the case of Alice and Stephan, the Government policy on this matter is clear and this does not require new policies to resolve,” he said adding that if there are delays in the approval process, administratively, it should be settled by the respective departments as problems like this cannot wait for the Cabinet or a Minister to settle. Dompok said that there is something wrong with the system and stressed that these cases are just the tip of the iceberg because there are many Sabahans who were working in Brunei Darussalam or Singapore before Malaysia was formed. The saddest part, he said, was the fact that there are people who can walk into the country through the back door and obtain Malaysian identity cards. “The Government cannot be in denial as this problem has to be fixed so I will do whatever it takes to help these people. Twill bring it up to the Cabinet because this was what we wanted to do when we called for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to look into cases pertaining to immigration, illegal or otherwise,” he said. According to Dompok, there are many issues the NRD has to address and that was the very thing he wanted to get into the Parliamentary Select and Integrity Committee. He also pointed out that there were two foreigners who admitted to have successfully obtained MyKads which they themselves think they do not deserve. “I sought clarification from NRD and was informed that both the MyKads were indeed valid,” he said. This, he said, was not in line with what the Government wants its delivery system to be.