National Registration Department (NRD) is in the news again. Some 30 villagers from Rumah Panjang Dok Kiai and Rumah Panjang Wak Ngayak at Mile 14 Sungai Teniku, about 24 km from Miri, are still waiting a long time for their MyKad and birth certificates.
They applied for the document in 2005 from the NRD and seems that NRD is sleeping on the processing and approval of their documents.
* Responses to NRD on Sarawak-born stateless (undetermined persons)
* NRD must settle the stateless cases fast
* Incompetent National Registration Department
Longhouse folk worried over long delay in MyKad
By Anthony Joseph
MIRI: Ako Burong is still waiting for his MyKad (IC) even though he applied for it in 2005.
The 28-year-old from Rumah Panjang Dok Kiai still depends on a temporary IC which he produces when applying for a job.
On seeing this IC receipt, many employers are reluctant to hire him out of fear that he might be or be mistaken for an illegal immigrant.
Furthermore Ako wishes to drive but was denied the privilege as the Road Transport Department too is doubtful about his nationality.
Ako was among some 30 villagers from Rumah Panjang Dok Kiai and Rumah Panjang Wak Ngayak at Mile 14 Sungai Teniku, about 24 km from here, waiting a long time for their MyKad and birth certificates.
The villagers highlighted their problems to their representative, Senadin assemblyman Lee Kim Shin who is also Assistant Minister for Infrastructure Development and Communication when he visited their longhouses to hand over minor rural project (MRP) grants for development.
In the absence of an IC, Ako cannot live outside the longhouse and is restricted to farming and doing odd jobs in a nearby plantation.
“I produce my temporary IC every time I apply for a job. If I am lucky, I get the job. I understand the employers’ concern that without an IC, I could easily be mistaken for an illegal immigrant,” Ako told thesundaypost, showing his temporary IC and birth certificate.
Ako is puzzled, disappointed and worried about the delay in getting his IC even though he has a birth certificate to prove he is a Malaysian citizen. He applied for the document in 2005.
“I want to know the reason behind the delay by the National Registration Department (NRD) in issuing my application as all my three other siblings have obtained their ICs though they applied later than me,” he said.
He has been in and out of the NRD many times since 2005.
“Every time I made an inquiry, I was told by the officer there that my card is still being processed and awaiting approval. They ask me to check the status once in three months since 2005 but until today I have not received it,” Ako said adding that the last time he went was in June this year.
He said it was a waste of time and money to travel from his longhouse to Miri only to be informed that the card was not ready, and still under process.
Meanwhile three sisters from the same longhouse - Koyan Kiai, 55, Satam, 50 and Puwi, 48 - are without birth certificates and therefore have no ICs.
“Only our brother has a birth certificate; not the three of us as our births were not registered with the NRD by our late father. The three of us applied to be issued with birth certificates in 2002. But until now, we are still waiting for our birth certs,” Koyan said.
She said their applications had been endorsed and supported by the ‘tuai rumah’ (longhouse chief) and an Iban community leader.
According to Koyan, they had been frequenting the NRD office in Miri to check the status of their applications.
“We went to the office more than six times after submitting our application in 2002. However, every time we went there, we were told that our applications had been submitted to Kuching and being processed. We have been given the same answer in the last six years and are tired of it,” she said, hoping the assemblyman would help speed up the process.
Others from Rumah Wak Ngayak facing problems in their MyKad applications are Roseline Sitie Ugak, 32, Dusey, 29, and Seblen Jerome, 22.
They said they regularly visit the NRD office in Miri but to no avail.
Lee assured that he would bring up all these cases to the higher authority.
He said without the documents, it would be hard for them to obtain assistance from the government department and agencies and the private sector.
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