National Registration Department must settle the stateless cases fast and not just look at the cases. Looking at the cases and settling them are two different things. Looking at it might just involve some sleepy officers making another review but no one to decide on the case.
While it was a good effort by Hamid Takip of Sarawak NRD to response to article published in the local newspapers, some of his remark still lead us around the bushes.
He also give excuse of communication breakdown about the department and the people. I think it's a communication breakdown within the departments itself. Maybe Miri NRD sleep on the case and so Kuching NRD just wait and sit on the case as well.
Hamid Takip mentioned that decision will be made within a month, but the reported case has been overdue for so long and it make NRD look very incompetent.
Hamid also mentioned that local branches are empowered to process the application but due to logistic problem, approval of the application can run into months. Despite the widespread of telecommunication facilities such as fixed line phone, mobile phone, fax, Internet and even courier services between Kuching and major towns in Sarawak, government department still whine about logistics problem in dealing with paper works and application processing. A typical slow working attitude among Malaysian government servants.
* Incompetent National Registration Department
Extracted from: theborneopost.com/?p=33690 (Apr 08, 2008)
NRD seriously looking into ‘stateless’ cases
By Puvaneswary Devindran and Zora Chan
KUCHING: The National Registration Department (NRD) has assured that it would be giving top priority to those ‘stateless’ cases, saying it was never its intention to cause the people so much trouble.
NRD customer service unit head Hamid Takip told The Borneo Post that he had just come out of a meeting to discuss the ‘Plight of the Stateless’ article published in thesundaypost.
He said the meeting agreed that the plight of the stateless Kenyahs and others facing similar problem would be looked into immediately.
In fact, he said, what had taken place in Ulu Baram were old cases that the department categorised under “unsettled query”.
He felt that the root cause of the problem was the communication breakdown between the department and the people.
Hamid said with regards to the “unsettled query” cases the department was aiming to reach either a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ decision as soon as possible so as not to burden the applicants.
“If it’s a ‘yes’, then we will straight away issue the birth certificate and also a MyKad, but if it’s a ‘no’, then we will talk to them to see if they want to apply again and be asked to come in for an interview,” he said.
Issuing out government documents was “no joking matter”, as such applicants should bring with them as many proofs as possible to substantiate their applications, he said.
“If 80 to 90 per cent of their story checks out true, then we will approve their applications but in some cases, they would give conflicting information and not firm in their answers. This creates doubts you see, so it’s difficult to give an approval,” he said.
He said unclear cases would be referred to a special committee at the department’s headquarters in Kuching for confirmation.
In any “straightforward” case, it would not take long to get a confirmation, while in cases deemed as “chronic”, the process would take much longer, he said.
According to Hamid, a decision would normally be reached with one month for any ‘chronic’ case.
The process of confirming unclear cases could also be done in nearby branches of NRD but this would take even longer, probably three months just to know the fate of an application, because of the logistics involved, he said.
According to him, applicants in the remote areas need not come all the way to the NRD headquarters in Kuching because the local branches are empowered to do all the processing.
In fact, he said, if the department is duly and properly notified, its mobile unit is ever ready to visit applicants at certain common locations in the rural areas to process applications of those unable to travel to the NRD offices in their areas.
The mobile unit was set up because the department understood that travelling to get their personal documents done could be quite troublesome and especially expensive for those living in the state’s remote districts, Hamid said.
He said, as of now, the mobile unit had its own schedule and would normally go outstation once a month and set up camp at schools.
Besides the scheduled visit, the unit would also make the trip at the request of the elected representatives, he added.
He pointed out the NRD would notify the district officer (DO) of its planned visit, and the DO would in turn relay the news to the community leaders for them to tell their people.
Unfortunately, despite this, some still could not make it the mobile unit, he said.
Calling on the people concerned to make every effort to meet up with the mobile team, he said the unit was also empowered to approve applications if they were found to be satisfactory.
“In any case, if you are told to go to another branch or to headquarters, do not hesitate to call up first to find out if it was really necessary for you to travel all the way. It is your right to call us on the status of your applications,” he said.
He said it was the duty of all NRD officers to facilitate and not frustrate the people and that it was also their duty to explain thoroughly to them the process.
He conceded that miscommunication between the department and the people did take place from time to time but assured that it had a well kept record of those who had applied before.
“What we are scared of is if the people go through a third party and there are a few syndicates who are out to cheat the people. There are some cases, the applicants show up with ‘receipts’ but when checked, there are simply no records of their applications with us,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hamid also confirmed that NRD does accept documents certified by community leaders, but only if the community leaders are from the same place as the applicants.
According to NRD’s brochure, among others, it says a person whose citizenship has yet to be determined but born on and after Aug 31, 1957 can apply for MyKad. Their applications are to be supported by birth certificate, identity card, parents’ birth certificate, parents’ identity cards, parents’ citizenship certificates, whatever documents that can prove that parents are permanent residents, applicant’s and parents’ travelling documents (if born overseas), and parents’ marriage certificate.
For those born before Aug 31, 1957, applications need to be supported with birth certificate, identity card, parents’ birth certificates and whatever documents that can prove that applicant’s father is Malaysian or a ‘rakyat’ of the Sultan.
For those born after Sept 16, 1963, applications must be supported by birth certificate, whatever documents that can prove that parents are permanent residents or Malaysians, parents’ marriage certificate, applicant’s and parents’ travelling documents (if born overseas), and parents’ marriage certificate.