Pakatan on damage-control mode after Malaysian citizenship syndicate exposed

(MMO) – The National Registration Department (NRD) will introduce new security measures including increased spot-checks and regular rotation of officers following the recent exposure of a syndicate in Penang that sold Malaysian identity cards to foreigners.

Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced today the measures the NRD will implement, also sharing a proposal to tap into DNA or genetic data.

Muhyiddin said these measures were decided in a September 18 committee meeting on the improvement of NRD’s delivery system chaired by the ministry’s secretary-general, Tan Sri Alwi Ibrahim.

The measures include the tightening of NRD’s standard operating procedures, including immediately halting the late registration of births at NRD offices at the state level and requiring this to be done only at the national headquarters for added security.

Muhyiddin also said it was decided that there would be an increase in surprise inspections at all NRD divisions including vendors to ensure all processes are complied with.

He said that NRD officers would be put on rotation to prevent any from being in the same position for more than two years to “minimise abuse of power”, adding that unclaimed birth certificates would be checked and deactivated from the system database to prevent misuse.

“For the long term, NRD proposed to establish a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) data bank and to include it in birth certificates to prevent leakages,” Muhyiddin said in a statement today.

The statement comes after the police busted a syndicate that involved a senior Penang NRD officer and which sold identity cards to foreigners. On September 11, police announced that 20 individuals have been arrested so far.

On September 12, six individuals including Penang NRD assistant director Mohd Faizul Arifin were slapped with a total of 32 charges for falsifying birth certificates and identity cards and selling the documents to China’s citizens.

Muhyiddin described those involved in the Mykad-selling rackets as traitors.

“I want to stress that the Home Ministry will not protect any government officers involved in this IC-selling case and gives full authority to the police to investigate and prosecute the national traitors,” he said.

“At the same time, the Home Ministry will also not compromise on the dissemination of untrue and false news that are made viral, and warns that legal action will be taken on those who spread fake news and information as a lesson to the rest to be more careful in issuing statements involving fake news,” he concluded.