Paperless Malaysians flock to get their ICs

By The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Thousands flocked to the National Regis­tration Department (NRD) offices in several states to fulfil their life-long dream of getting a MyKad under the MyDaftar campaign.

MyDaftar is an effort by the NRD to identify individuals who had birth certificates but had not applied for a MyKad, and those who did not have birth certificates and thus, unable to secure a MyKad.

Sixty-one NRD offices set up special counters yesterday under the MyDaftar campaign to address documentation problems involving the Indian community, many of whom faced difficulties in obtaining a MyKad despite being born in the country.

Organised by the Special Implementation Taskforce on the Indian Community in collaboration with the Home Ministry, the campaign will register Indians who do not have relevant documents pertaining to their birth, identification and citizenship.

MIC deputy president Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam, who is the Human Resources Minister, said thousands were expected to take part in the nationwide campaign aimed at resolving the long-standing problem faced mostly by the Indian community.

The campaign will focus on nine hotspot states, including Selangor, Penang, Pahang, Malacca, Kedah and Negri Sembilan and will culminate on Saturday.

Dr Subramaniam said the campaign was also open to individuals aged above 55 who carried red identity cards.

“This is still a prevalent problem as many who have been in Malaysia for decades or longer still do not have citizenship. We are trying to resolve this through a holistic approach,” he added.

Dr Subramaniam said once the registration was completed, they would sift through the applications to determine why the affected individuals could not get a MyKad.

“We will determine what had prevented them from getting their papers before and we will take steps to resolve them,” he said, adding that it could take up to six months to process the registrations.

R.S. Suren Dren, who was among the hundreds who thronged the NRD office at the Maju Junction here at 7.30am yesterday, hopes to finally prove that he is a Malaysian.

He had faced countless obstacles as he did not have a birth certificate.

“I need a MyKad as without it, I could not get a steady job, own a house. I cannot even marry my fiancee,” said the 24-year-old.

Abandoned by his mother when he was just over a year old, Suren Dren said his application for a birth certificate had been rejected numerous times by various NRD offices.

“This time, I’ve brought along my adoptive parents to prove that I am Malaysian. Hopefully, they will give me a birth certificate,” he said.

In Ipoh, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Kadir said many from Perak did not have MyKad and birth certificates.

“Many people, especially those from rural areas, have yet to get their MyKad because they could not get transport into nearby towns to apply or register,” he said after launching the state-level MyDaftar campaign yesterday.

In Johor, state MIC chairman Datuk K.S. Balakrishnan said lackadaisical attitude is one reason why many Indians in Johor still did not have proper identification documents.

He said more than 5,000 Indians in Johor did not have proper documents, adding that many were just “too lazy” to deal with the problem.

“This is an unacceptable attitude and we are trying our best to ensure that the community is educated on the importance of these documents,” he said after launching the state-level MyDaftar campaign held at Wisma Persekutuan yesterday.