by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 28th March, 1992:
DAP opposes another Article 30 citizenship verfication exercise and calls on the Government to automatlcally issue new identity card to all Article 30 citizens in view of the 1970 verification exercise.
Following the DAP campaign started in Seremban last Tuesday, opposing the great injustice of Malaysian citizens having to prove again and again their citizenship qualifications, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ong Ka Ting, has admitted that there is problem with the change of new identity cards for the Article 30 citizens.
Why should this be so? In 1970, when all Article 30 citizens were required to undergo a verification exercise, there was widespread anxiety and panic among those who have difficulty in amassing all the necessary documentation.
What should there be another verification exercise of Article 30 citizens more than 20 years later, in
the form of the issue of new identity cards, where Article 30 citizens have to prove their qualifications
all over again?
As a result of this unjust and unfair requirement, many citizens in the fifties, sixties and seventies are reluctant to apply for a change of new identity card, for they prefer to ‘die as a blue’ than ‘die as a red’.
DAP strongly opposes another Article 30 citizenship verification exercise and calls on the National Registration Department to automatically issue new identity cards to all Article 30 citizens in view of the 1970 verification exercise.
Why should the National Registration Department, with the full agreement of the MCA Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs, create obstacles, difficulties or even threat of withdrawal of citizenship to all those who have become citizens under Article 30?
Most of the Article 30 citizens acquired their citizenship in the late 1950s. If there had been any error in the documents, all these should have been cured by the passage of time of over, thirty years when it only takes a person to be eligible to be a Malaysian citizen after 12 years’ residence.
Why penalise or unnecessarily create difficulties and problems to Article 30 citizens, who apart from their previous qualifications to become citizens, had been residing, working and contributing to the nation’s development for another 30 years?
It is however not just the Article 30 citizens who are being harassed and threatened with the possibility of having blue identity cards turned into a red one because of spelling or clerical errors in decades-old documents.
Unless and until the Government comes out with a policy decision that no citizen will end up with a red identity card in the change for new identity card because of some spelling or clerical error in decades-old document, other categories of citizens could also be affected.
The MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, the Gerakan President, Datuk Dr, Lim Keng Yaik and
the MIC President, Datuk Samy Vellu, should explain why they have remained dumb and indifferent to this grave problem.