Posts Tagged ‘Birth Cert’

MyDaftar Campaign

February 10th, 2011
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So, if you know of anyone having problems with the citizenship (no birth cert, no MyKad, still having red IC) or related to marriage registration, can approach the JPN.

Thanks to Sujieta for list below. I’ve been asking around for two weeks and no reply from the MIC folks. Dr Denison replied few days ago, though.

Note: MyDaftar is an on-going initiative by the JPN. Its not something new. You check the JPN’s website for proof. The only difference is that its being held to focus on the Indian community who’s having problems with their citizenship.

The Special Implementation Taskforce on the Indian Community (Prime Minister’s Department) in cooperation with the National Registration Department has launched a nationwide campaign between Feb 19 to 26 to register and assist all undocumented Malaysian Indians secure their rightful citizenship – MY DAFTAR NATIONAL CAMPAIGN

JPN Office open during the My Daftar Campaign period.
The following JPN office is participating in the My Daftar Campaign. They are open from 9am to 1pm on Feb 19 (sat), Feb 20 (sun) and Feb 26 (sat) and from Jan 21 (mon) to 25 (fri) they are open during office hours. This is a special arragement through the Taskforce (PM Dept) and the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Negeri / Daerah No. Talipon
Anak Bukit, Alor Setar 04-7314585
Bandar Baharu, Serdang 04-4076353
Kubang Pasu, Jitra 04-9171890
Kuala Muda, Sungai Petani 04-4212726
Kulim, Kilang Lama 04-4911930

Jalan Anson, Penang 04-2265161
Barat Daya, Balik Pulau 04-8668410
Bayan Baru, Bayan Lepas 04-6437460
Bertam, Kepala Batas 04-5758143
Seberang Perai Tengah, Bkt Mertajam 04-5382621
Seberang Perai Selatan, Jawi 04-5822951
Seberang Perai Utara, Butterworth 04-3333380

Bandar Meru Raya, Ipoh 05-5288805
Bagan Datok 05-6466939
Kinta, Batu Gajah 05-3661904
Batang Padang, Tapah 05-4011361
Hilir Perak, Telok Intan 05-6221197
Kampar 05-4661773
Kamunting 05-8916653
Krian, Parit Buntar 05-7161969
Kuala Kangsar 05-7761166
Larut Matang , Taiping 05-8072411
Manjung, Seri Manjung 05-6883261
Selama 05-8394263
Slim River 05-4528488
Sungai Siput 05-5984844
Tanjung Malim 05-4597232

Shah Alam, Plaza Masalam 03-55107255
Gombak, Batu caves 03-61880362
Hulu Selangor, Kuala Kubu Baru 03-60641312
Klang, Jalan Kapar 03-33421455
Kuala Langat, Banting 03-31871821
Kuala Selangor 03-32898526
Petaling Jaya, Jalan Sultan 03-79562634
Pelabohan Klang 03-31684437
Rawang, Pusat Bandar Rawang 03-60928486
Sabak Bernam, Sungai Besar 03-32241325
Seri Kembangan, Taman Seri Serdang 03-89416524
Sepang, Salak Tinggi 03-87061107
Hulu Langat, Kajang 03-87334520
Taman Melawati 03-41089142

Maju Junction Mall 03-26925044

Seremban 06-7651600
Jempol, Bahau 06-4549609
Port Dickson 06-6471077
Rembau 06-6851733
Senawang 06-6788237
Tampin, Tampin Square 06-4411446

Ayer Keroh, Kompleks KDN 06-2326600
Bandar Alor Gajah 06-5563055
Jasin, Bandar Baru Jasin 06-5292005

Kuantan, Kompleks KDN 09-5734455
Bentong 09-2221582
Cameron Highlands, Tanah Rata 09-4911466
Kuala Lipis 09-3121072
Maran 09-4771266
Mentakab 09-2781239
Raub 09-3551336
Rompin 09-4145411
Temerloh 09-2961239

Johor Bahru, Wisma Negeri 07-2245388
Kluang 07-7724131
Labis 07-9251914
Pasir Gudang 07-2553717
Segamat 07-9312148
Ledang, Tangkak 06-9782527

A little info on MyDaftar Campaign:

The Home Ministry advised Indian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to identify Malaysian Indians without birth, identification and citizenship documents for registration during the MyDaftar campaign for eight days from Feb 19.

Deputy Secretary-General (Registration and Immigration) Datuk Raja Azahar Raja Abdul Manap said Sunday the campaign would be held in Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor, the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Negri Sembilan, Malacca, Pahang and Johor.

He said the assistance of the NGOs was most necessary to help resolve this serious problem of a section of the Malaysian Indian community which had not had the documents for a long time.

“We do not know how many of these people are without the documents. We hope to be able to register all of them who do not have the documents,” he told reporters here.

“This is the pledge given by the Home Ministry and the National Registration Department. We will not take any action against those who have not registered their marriage or the birth of their children if they come forward during the campaign,” he said, adding that action would be taken after the campaign.

According to statistics, the ministry resolved all the 32,927 applications pertaining to the registration of these documents received between 1997 and 2006 and the 29,677 applications received between 2007 and 2009.

The MyDaftar campaign is organised by the Cabinet Committee on Indians with the National Registration Department and the Home Ministry and supported by the Information Communication and Culture Ministry. – Bernama

Problems If no Birth Cert or IC

February 3rd, 2011
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Life is indeed full of obstacles if without such critical documents. I don’t suppose you can vote as well. Practically like an illegal immigrant, no access to education, health, legal, employment and social avenues/channels.

JPN’s MyDaftar program is being expanded with help of the SITF. Let’s see how these folks can be helped.

At two, her father left her with a family friend here but did not leave behind her birth certificate. Housewife R. Mageswary, who now claims to be 38, says she does not know her exact birthdate.

“I have never celebrated my birthday,” she sobbed, relating that the absence of a birth certificate had deprived her from getting an identity card, going to school, getting a job and travelling away from home for fear of being caught by the police.

“I do not even know how to read. I am also afraid of travelling far from my home in Segamat in case of police road block,” she said in between tears.

Desperate: Rubella and Annie holding up a document which states that Annie is not a Malaysian citizen.

Mageswary said she had tried many times, through her husband, to get her identification documents but all attempts had failed.

Life had been difficult for Mageswary and others who are in the same predicament in Labis and elsewhere.

Widow V. Rubella, 37, whose husband died four months ago, said she had to do odd jobs to support her 10-year-old daughter.

“I do not have a birth certificate nor an identification card so it is next to impossible for me to even get aid from the welfare department,” she said, adding that the birth certificate of her daughter, D. Annie and two other children also stated they are not Malaysian.

Joining the conversation, Annie said her elder brother was now in prison because he could not produce his identity card during a roadblock.

“He explained to the court about his predicament but he was still jailed,” she said, adding that her brother had been jailed several times for the same offence.

Segamat Indian Community Development Association secretary B.M. Baskaran said he has brought up such problems many times in the past 10 years.

“I have helped to resolve 15 such cases but I believe there are many more that are still unsolved,” he said.

Asked about the issue, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong said the ministry would start an outreach programme to identify those who are affected by such problems.

“The programme will start after the Tenang by-election and we will handle the issues on a case-by-case basis,” he said.

HRP brings identification document case to NRD

September 26th, 2010
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Well done! Its a good move by HRP. I agree its not a easy thing to do as lot of time and patience is required (imagine discussing for eight hours! And that too just to complete application and submit it). Just imagine the illiterate and underserved members of public going through this process. Most likely give up due to the various rules and regulations, and restrictions. Not everyone can do, even though many can talk about it. Hopefully this batch of 10 people get some good news in two months time (but I have my doubts).

With MIC running their SITF programs in few places, hopefully can see some cases coming to a good closure.

The Human Rights Party (HRP) claims it has achieved its aim of upholding the constitutional right for freedom of religion, in bringing relief to 10 Indian Malaysians who were caught in conversion turmoil for years.

The 10 victims of allegedly forced conversions are from the three families of Rajina a/p Krishnan, Rani a/p Kandasamy and Banggarma a/p Subramaniam (left).

On Tuesday, HRP central committee member S Thiagarajan took them to the National Registration Department (NRD) headquarters in Putrajaya to iron out the long outstanding issue with seven NRD officers.
According to Thiagarajan, it took over eight hours of persuasion and reasoning with the NRD officers headed by NRD’s births, deaths and adoptions deputy director I Azliza Shaharudin to complete this application process for the change of name.

Initially, HRP encountered resistance from Azliza who after perusal of the documents, rejected the applications on the grounds that these three cases should be brought to the Syariah Court for the change of name and religion to Hindu.
After obtaining the Syariah Court order, only then should they apply for changes in their identity cards and birth certificates at the NRD, she had stated.

Constitutional aspects discussed
But HRP instead briefed Azliza and her officers on the constitutional and legal aspects as well as the United Nations (UN) International Covenant provisions that stated:
1) By virtue of Section 6 of the Registration of Births and Deaths (Special Provisions) Act 1975 “A registrar (of births) shall record such particulars as may be prescribed in a report book in the prescribed form concerning any birth or death given to him by any person qualified to do so.
2) Article 11 of the federal constitution (freedom of religion) and 11(1) that says “every person has the right to profess and practice his religion and to propagate it”.
3) The federal constitution is the highest law of the country and is above all other laws, with no disrespect including Islamic laws which are only subsidiary to the federal constitution.
4) Article 14 of the federal constitution read with Part II of the Second Schedule provides for citizenship by “operation of law” and “for every person born within the federation of whose parents one at least is at the time of birth either a citizen or permanently resident in the federation.
5) Article 7 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (that Malaysia ratified in 1995) provides, “The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents”.
6) It also states parties shall ensure the implementation of these rights in accordance with their national law and their obligations under the relevant international instruments in this field, in particular where the child would otherwise be stateless.
After HRP’s briefing on the six rights, Azliza called the respective NRD officers to look into the various conversion cases.
Rajina’s two-year-old son Tinesh has no birth certificate, since the NRD office in Johor had at the birth of her son refused to include the name of his natural father Mahendran a/l Habimanan and his religion as Hindu in his birth certificate.
Then for Banggarma’s two children, Hisyanthini and Kanagaraj, application forms were sought to change their religious status to Hindu and include their father’s name Sockalingam a/l Suppiah into their birth certificates, which column had been filled up with the words “Maklumat Tidak Diperolehi” (details not available).
Thiagarajan had also questioned Azliza as to how this could happen when the mother had confirmed that Sockalingam is the natural father, pointing out that this is in contravention of Section 5(1)(a) and (b) of the Registration of Births and Deaths Act 1975.
Rani had been told that the amendments she sought in the birth certificates of her children could not be carried out as the birth certificate is only issued once in their life time and it is to remain the history of their birth.
The application to change the name and the status from Islam to Hindu was rejected by virtue of Section 15(1) of the Registration Births and Deaths Act 1975.

‘NRD must be independent’
However HRP informed the families that they could use Section 27(3) of the same Act to make corrections to the name and their religious status.
Rani and others with officer - HRP, converts meeting with NRDThey proceeded to submit six applications for changes to the records.
This included the case of Rani’s (far left in photo) elder daughter Vijaya Letchumy who has a Hindu name but whose religious status in the NRD computer system is Islam, a discrepancy that prevented her from registering her marriage to her Hindu husband Tamilarasan a/l M Rajendran.
According to Thiagarajan, the NRD officers had told them that they would revert to the applicants regarding these six changes within two months’ time.
HRP will be taking the second batch of ten stateless Malaysian Indians to see the NRD next week.
Earlier on Aug 13, a HRP team led by pro-tem secretary-general P Uthayakumar (right) had started the groundwork for this venture with a three-hour meeting with births, deaths and adoptions director Mohd Azmin Hassan and 12 of his senior officers at their Putrajaya office.
At this meeting the HRP team had emphasised that NRD should act on an independent, non-racial and non-religious basis, in a move to eliminate statelessness and uphold the constitutional right to freedom of religion.

Citizenship woes for old folks and the stateless

September 6th, 2010
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Read this first (full article is here):

… Although he was born in Kuala Lumpur and has lived here all his life, Chang still holds a red identity card, which carries a permanent resident status. He began applying for citizenship in 1974 but so far he has not been successful.

He says he could not register as a citizen in 1957 because he did not have a birth certificate.

“I was born during the Japanese Occupation, so my parents were too scared to register my birth. Luckily, I was given a red IC, but after more than 15 years, I felt that it was not enough, so I applied for citizenship in 1974.”

As MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek highlighted recently, the number of persons waiting for their citizenship applications to be approved is huge. It was reported in this paper yesterday that 30,000 individuals are waiting for the outcome of their application, which were made between 2007 and 2009.

Among them are some 25,751 Chinese red IC holders. Between January and August this year, 7,674 fresh applications were submitted.

To help resolve the problem, the party’s central committee member and Deputy Home Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong was given the task of identifying the reasons for the delay.

One main problem that has long been highlighted is lack of proper documents.

A reason identified for this is adoption: it was a common practice among Chinese parents who adopted (Malaysian-born) children to hide the child’s real identity, making it difficult for them to get their personal documents like MyKad later in life.

But, says Chiew Lian Keng who is coordinating the MCA’s citizenship task force, “Many of those waiting for their citizenship approval are old people who lived through the Japanese Occupation or the Emergency (1948-1960), so they have no papers; or their documents were lost or destroyed.”

Because of their experience during those turbulent times, he explains, many like Chang feel inferior and insecure without their citizenship.

During the Emergency and Japanese Occupation, being caught without your papers or with the “wrong” documents could mean prison and even execution, and many now needlessly worry about their safety when going out in public places.

Tracing the historical events, Chiew says many are in a fix today due to the commotion of those times and lack of access to information.

When Malaya achieved independence in 1957, everyone who was born here was given a year to take the citizenship oath.

But many who are seeking help from the task force today say they didn’t know that they had to do so at that time or had problems that made them miss the deadline.

It was the same situation when Singapore separated from Malaysia in 1965, he points out: “A year was given for people to decide if they wanted to stay in Malaysia or become Singaporeans. Still, many are now in limbo due to various reasons.”

Undeniably, Chiew concedes, there was a small group who wanted to go back to China and dragged their feet over their citizenship. By the time they resolved their dilemma, they had missed the deadline. “But this number is very small,” he stresses.

There are now five categories of citizenship application: wives of citizens; children of Malaysians aged below 21 years; application made under special circumstances for children aged below 21 years; those born before Merdeka; and applicants who are above 21 and have lived here as a permanent resident for more than 12 years.

The National Registration Department processed 32,927 applications for citizenship between 1997 and 2006.

Between 2007 and 2009, 29,677 applications were received, out of which 14,179 were approved while the remaining 15,498 applications are expected to be finalised by end of the year.

For many like Chang, who has been waiting for more than 35 years, the process is simply too slow and long.

It is not only red tape, says Chiew. One reason is that their applications keep getting rejected.

“Their applications have to go through various stages and many have come to expect rejection first. Usually, no reason is given for the rejection. Once rejected, they have to wait for two years to apply again.”

Chang has lost count of how many times he has submitted an application for citizenship.

“I took my Bahasa Malaysia test in 1974 and I passed but my first application was not approved. I applied again, and still it came back negative. I’ve been diligently re-applying.

“When I read the papers, I see that many people have received citizenship. I see many women crying and hugging the minister after getting their citizenship. So, how do you think I feel? At least, just tell me my status,” he says, showing his Bahasa Malaysia certificate.

NRD director-general Datuk Alwi Ibrahim feels that many applicants have the misconception that getting a Malaysian citizenship is their right.

It is actually a reward and the highest award from the Government of Malaysia to the applicant,” he says, adding that even those born in Malaysia do not automatically have the claim to be Malaysian citizens under the operation of law.

“Every birth in Malaysia must be registered in the NRD and the citizenship status is based on their parents’ nationality at birth.”

Alwi is sympathetic towards those who were unsuccessful in their applications but laments the public’s lack of understanding of the process.

“Most people do not understand that the NRD does not have the authority to approve their citizenship applications. They need to know and understand that there are processes that the applications need to go through before the decision can be made by the Home Minister.”

The process, he explains, is long as the Government has to be thoroughly sure that the applicant is highly deserving of Malaysian citizenship. They also need to prove that they can contribute to the country as well as show their loyalty and not bring any harm or danger to it.

One aspect that many are not aware of is that existing laws and mechanisms have been made easier for applicants aged 50 and above. They no longer need to sit for a written Bahasa Malaysia test and only have to attend an interview in which their understanding of the national language and the Federal Constitution is tested.

But, says Chiew, most of the time the questions asked in the interview are difficult.

Sometimes you get questions like ‘What is the full name of the second Sultan of Terengganu?’ I don’t think even you or I can answer that, what more an old person like Chang.”

Alwi points out that despite the challenges, the NRD and the ministry have cleared all the application backlogs.

“Currently, we are processing applications from 2007 to 2010. All applications prior to 2007 have been processed and the results are out.

“The results for 2007, 2008 and 2009 applications will be issued by end of this year while those for 2010 applications will be issued by 2012.”

While most understand the load faced by the NRD, the delay has taken a toll on this batch of pre-Merdeka generation and their families, says Chiew.

Many are so disheartened that they have simply refused to appeal when their applications are rejected. The problems they face, meanwhile, have discouraged those who have yet to apply for citizenship.

“These are old people. Many are over 60 and it is tough for them to go back and forth to the NRD. After so many years, all they want is to belong to the place they call home.”

Lorry driver Yong, 71, had almost given up hope of dying a Malaysian when he received his citizenship recently.

“The delay was affecting my family. Every time the topic came up in my house, tempers blew up. It was very stressful,” he recalls.

There are many who accuse these applicants of being too demanding, says Chang.

“It is not that we feel entitled to Malaysian citizenship. But I was born here, I grew up and work here, and my family is here. That is why I want to be a Malaysian citizen.”

For many, says Chiew, it is also a matter of survival.

As PR, they are not eligible for free medical services or the subsidies provided for senior citizens at Government hospitals. They are also not eligible for other incentives provided to retirees.

Sarita A, whose mother applied more than five times before she got her citizenship, says everything is more expensive for a red IC holder. These include hospital bills, passport and other travel costs and even entry to some places.

“My mother was very heartbroken and nearly gave up. She always said she could not go back to India because she does not know India now and she has nobody there. We are her only family,” she says.

Her mother does not only feel secure now but also relieved that she does not have to burden her children.

Although Sarita is grateful to the Government, she feels the process could have been faster.

“I felt they could have done better, especially since many are waiting anxiously to become citizens of this country.”

Hence, many were overjoyed when Dr Chua recently proposed that red IC holders aged 60 years and above with children who are citizens be granted citizenship automatically.

That will definitely help clear the NRD backlog, says Chiew.

For those like Chang, it will certainly make a difference.

I can get cheaper and better medical service,” he says with a smile.

“And Merdeka Day will be happy and meaningful again.”

I can see that economic issues play a part in attempts to get citizenship, especially the elderly folks.
Next, let’s read about HRP’s attempt to help register stateless folks:

Fifteen year old Citra Dorai was born in a prison in Alor Setar and her knowledge about the circumstances surrounding her birth is rather vague.

She has been illiterate all her life as she does not have a birth certificate or an identity card which makes it impossible for her to register for any school.

Her mother died recently and her father has left her and two other siblings in the care of an aunt, and Citra (left) is totally uncertain of her future.

“I want to be like everyone else, to go to school, and to have something to do in the future,” she said, teary-eyed.

Citra, is among 40-odd stateless persons who turned up at the Human Rights Party’s office in Perai today, to fill in their national registration forms.

More than 20 children, with ages ranging from two to 15 years, were accompanied by their equally stateless parents, to try and reverse their situation by registering their plight.

The effort is part of the HRP’s national campaign to assist stateless persons, as most of them come from the Indian community.

Citra is also part of the 150,000 Malaysians who were born and bred in the country but who continues to suffer as stateless persons for various reasons ranging from not having parents’ with citizenship to refusal to follow suit when a spouse or parent converts to Islam.

Disappointing meet

On Aug 13, HRP leaders met with NRD officers in Putrajaya, but came home feeling disappointed that the officers gave the impression that the problem was not as serious as they had made it out to be, said the party’s national advisor N. Ganesan.

“But we have proven our point, in just a month, without even a campaign, only word by mouth, we have managed to gather some 40 stateless people in this office,” he said.

“We want the NRD to take ownership of this problem and try to resolve this issue; it cannot deny that this is a big problem,” Ganesan (right) added.

Ganesan, a lawyer by profession, reiterated that what has been constitutionally guaranteed has been systematically and procedurally denied to the poor and vulnerable.

“This has contributed further to their marginalisation and continuing dispossession from mainstream Malaysia,” he added.

Meanwhile, the NRD has responded to the allegations by stating that the mobile registration program known as MyDaftar has been travelling to several Tamil schools and Indian estates to register undocumented children this year.

Its public relations officer Janisiah Mohd Noor stated in an email reply, that for cases of mixed marriage sans conversion, the matter should be referred to the appropriate religious department for more clarification.

She also stressed that the parents must be in legal wedlock to be registered as the child’s parent.

Janisiah claimed that the main reason for this statelessness plaguing the poor Malaysian Indians is due to their ignorance of law, unregistered marriages, and domestic problems.

Ganesan said the forms provided by the NRD was complicated that even an educated, un-marginalised middle class person would find a daunting task to fill in all their particulars.

“Please be reminded that these people with the stateless problems are from the working class; everyday they go to the NRD and are rejected due to incomplete forms, they lose a day’s wage,” he said.

“They have to return again and again before they get their forms rights and for many of these working class people, they simply cannot afford the time, so they let things continue to hang,” he added.

So, we can see HRP’s argument that process is complicated due the the forms. Coupled with long waiting time, well, you get unsolved problems. NRD doesn’t get involved in conversion issues so that another hurdle the folks have to deal separately. While in the earlier article, the focus is on elderly folks, the one above shows the importance of identity document in order to pursue education beyond primary school.

Also note that HRP says citizenship is guaranteed under constitution while NRD says its a reward, depending on the nationality of the parents.

Manikavasagam helps solve birth certificate problems

July 2nd, 2009
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If indeed MP Kapar “Mike” Manikavasagam’s office has solved 200 cases related to birth certificates, its a commendable achievement. 200/14 months averages 14 cases per month.
He should come out with some sort of phamplet and guidelines to be distributed to other MPs and ADUNs in Selangor and other problematic states. If MIC, PPP, DAP, PKR, UMNO Youth etc. work and provide good results like this, it will reduce crime and social problems to a certain extent.
Nevash Nair, Malay Mail
Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

“NOW, I am a true Malaysian, like how I always wanted to be.” These were the words of Rajan, 23, after receiving his birth certificate yesterday at Kapar Member of Parliament S. Manikavasagam’s service centre at Pekan Kapar.

He went to the centre several months ago complaining that he did not possess a birth certificate or an identity card.

“I was born in an estate and my parents were uneducated. They did not know that I must have a birth certificate. Luckily, a nurse gave my mother a certificate stating that I was born in Malaysia and that my parents are Malaysians,” said Rajan.

“I faced so much of difficulty before a friend of mine told me to visit Manikavasagam’s office to get my birth certificate. Now I can get my identification card and move on to better things,” he added.

P. Bakiong was almost in tears when her six-year-old son Jery was presented with his birth certificate.

She told Malay Mail that she could not obtain Jery’s birth certificate because the child’s father was irresponsible and had left the family right after Jery was born.

“I was suffering for six years. I was approached by many parties who claimed they could get my son’s birth certificate for a price. I did not trust them and I came here finally. I am truly grateful for the help. Now I can send my son to school next year,” said Bakiong.

Manikavasagam’s office also proudly announced that they have solved all the birth certificate issues of folks from the Kapar slums that were highlighted two months ago.

“It took some time and it was tough. But we managed to get all the children their birth certificates. The single mothers will also be getting an allowance of RM450 starting next month. We hope that with this money their problems will be eased,” said Manikavasagam.

On May 6, Malay Mail highlighted the plight of single mothers and the problems faced by their children who did not possess birth certificates.

A youth movement called G2 alerted us to their plight. Malay Mail visited the slum and noted the high number of children who were Stateless in this small town. The children were also being recruited by drug pushers to carry out illicit dealings.

Manikavasagam visited the area a day after and pr0mised to solve the problem of the Statelessness of the children.

Interview with MP Kapar:

Shocked to have been told there are about 5,000 without BCs

Malay Mail Ist July 2009

DURING his campaign trail last year, S. Manikavasagam promised the residents of Kapar he would solve their birth certificate problems if he won the Kapar Parliamentary seat. It has been 16 months since the first-term MP was elected and as promised, Manikavasagam is on a mission to ensure all Malaysians are accorded their birthright.

How bad is the situation in Klang of folks without birth certificates?

If you look at Klang, it is not that serious. In my constituency, we do get cases of adults not having birth certificates on a weekly basis but the number is not alarming. But, if you look at the State overall, it is worrying. I was told that there are 5,000 cases of people without birth certificates. This is shocking.

Why do you think the number is so high?

Firstly, the lack of education. Many who do not have birth certificates are estate workers and rural folk. If we can educate them that a birth certificate is important and necessary, then we can say the problem is partially solved.

Secondly, the people must understand that even if they give birth at home, they must acquire a birth certificate immediately. And finally, the National Registration Department  should be more proactive. Their officers should be on the ground more to spot cases like this in rural areas.

What other problems do you face when it comes to birth certificate issues?

There are folks who come to my office and claim that they paid strangers a large amount of money to get their birth certificates.

The amounts range from RM1,000 to RM5,000. These are scams. When the complaint reaches us, it’s already too late. I would like to advise the people of Malaysia they do not have to pay to get a birth certificate. If anybody approaches them and asks for a large amount of money, they should contact the police immediately.

How far has your focus been successful?

We have already solved 200 cases since I took office. We have had people calling my office from Kedah, Pahang and Johor asking our help to get their birth certificates. We take one case at one time. My volunteers are well versed in the issue after handling so many cases.

What I can do is advise other State assemblymen and MPs on how to go about the issue if they receive cases like these. My team will also carry on with their duties.