KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah National Registration Department (NRD) has ruled out, in the wake of public demands, issuance of any special document called Sabah IC. However, it is possible for the NRD to recall all Identity Cards issued in Sabah and to re-issue them to satisfy the public that only citizens hold blue MyKads. “There can be only one IC, the Malaysian IC.”
Sabah NRD Director Ismail Ahmad conceded that the NRD did issue genuine MyKads to foreigners at one time but, he claimed, that was many years ago. He recalled that 22 NRD officers had been picked up after a probe and detained under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA). He could not say why they were not charged in Court.
“We have enough people at our 29 branches throughout Sabah to undertake a re-issuance of ICs in Sabah,” said Ismail. “Nothing has been decided at the moment. The Sabah Government would know what to do. We can take instructions only from the government.”
“We just have to wait and see what the Working Committee and Management Committee on the RCI Report decide to do about ICs we have so far issued in Sabah.”
He was addressing media reports quoting Huguan Siou Joseph Pairin Kitingan as saying that his Working Committee on the RCI Report would consider including the Sabah IC proposal among its recommendations to the Management Committee headed by Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Chief Minister Musa Aman.
Pairin was also expressing shock and alarm over reports that Keningau, the parliamentary seat he represents, had the highest number of illegal immigrants in Sabah.
Ismail said that he had spoken to Pairin and assured him that Keningau was not the place with the highest number of illegal immigrants. “The problem exists in all districts although I cannot offhand give the figures,” said Ismail. “I also showed Pairin MyKads that look almost like the genuine document.”
“He was very surprised.”
Delving into details on the perennial MyKad problem in Sabah, Ismail said the presence of syndicates producing fake ICs was at present the major problem in the state. “These ICs look like the genuine document except that they are empty inside,” said Ismail. “We don’t know what type of machines are being used to produce these ICs, when and where.”
“Genuine ICs, when run through UV light, will show up the security features.”
He stressed that the NRD doesn’t know the mastermind behind the fake ICs but have since figured out that there were many middlemen involved in the racket, some selling the ICs for as much as RM8,000. “Last month, we caught a foreigner who tried to use a fake MyKad to apply for a passport,” said Ismail. “The Immigration Department is linked to the NRD database. The fake IC showed up empty inside.”
The Sabah NRD Director also assured that his Department no longer accepted statutory declarations in lieu of birth certificates to apply for MyKads. “The only exception is that we can issue MyKads to applicants, in the absence of a birth certificate, if they can produce a supporting letter from the Home Ministry,” said Ismail. “In that case, we are obliged to issue the MyKad to the applicant. That’s our procedure.”
He did not disclose further details on the Home Ministry’s letter-supported issuance of MyKads in Sabah.
He added that a MyKad holder in Sabah cannot be judged by whether he or she can speak Malay. “Many of our Orang Asal cannot in fact speak proper Malay,” said Ismail.”
~ Free Malaysia Today