MyKad complaints by Sabah Christians missing from NRD by Bob Teoh
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Files of 162 Bumiputera Christians who complained that they were
wrongly classified as Muslims have gone missing from the National
Registration Department in Sabah. This was highlighted by the NECF- COSA, the National Evangelical
Christian Fellowship Commission of Sabah Affairs, during its recent
meeting with Sabah’s Assistant Minister of Finance, Datuk Donald
Mojuntin, who is also Upko’s information chief. The delegation of five
pastors was led by its chairman, Rev Datuk Jerry Dusing.
The 162 files were painstakingly compiled by the Sidang Injil Borneo
(SIB) Sabah over a period of several months from several districts,
according to Dusing, who is also SIB president. He said they were handed over by SIB’s lawyer, Christina Liew to Haji
Abdul Jafer Henry, the then state NRD director in his office two years
ago on 24 Sept 2010 and witnessed by two pastors.\ The 162 Christians claimed they were wrongly classified as Muslims in their MyKads and wanted that rectified.
In their complaints, they also wanted clarification from the
department regarding mixed marriages between Muslims and non-Muslims and
the religious status of their children. They also wanted to know the procedures of verifying the religious
status of MyKad holders who claimed to be non-Muslim but with Islam
stated in their MyKad and who should bear the costs of such
When it was suggested that SIB re-submit the complaints, the
NECF-COSA said the NRD must be held responsible for the missing files.
They must also give an explanation how the files went missing when the
NRD is a security area. They also wanted those responsible to be taken
to task for the negligence. They also said the 162 files were
painstakingly compiled involving a lot of time and expenses.
Mojuntin assured the delegation that he would try to find a solution to this problem as soon as possible. The problem arose when MyKad of bumiputra Christians in Sabah and
Sarawak having bin and binti in their names were automatically
classified by the NRD as Muslims. Matters came to a head when the NRD
refused to make any rectification but instead refer the complainants to
the Syariah Court for a decision whether they are indeed Muslims. The issue was raised at the cabinet two months ago and it was decided that the NRD resolve the matter quickly. National Registration Department director Ismail Ahmad was quoted as
saying the errors were due “technical glitches” that occur due to the
data entered into the department’s database when they first started the computerisation system.
“I admit that sometimes we make mistakes but this is actually
something that can be rectified immediately. All you have to do is come
to the office to point out the mistake and we will rectify it for you,
the people,” he was reported as saying. However, when the SIB enquired about the status of the 162 MyKad
complaints of their members, they were told the files have gone missing.
Have they? The question is who has taken the files? MYsinchew