Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang in Malacca on Wednesday, March 31, 1992 at 11 am.
DAP calls for an Independent inquiry as to why 77,000 applications for new identity cards have been held up and require re-processing.
DAP calls for an independent inquiry as to why 77,000 applications for new identity cards have been held up and require processing, which will mean that these 77,000 people will have to go through the hassle and inconvenience of the application all over again!
What is shocking is that the Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Megat Junid Megat Ayob, has put the blame for the 77,000 applications for new identity cards on the applicants, when the Director-General of the National Registration Department Kamaruddin Nordin, had courageously admitted in Kuching on 19th March that 80 per cent of the blame for the hold-up of the 77,000 applications must be borne by the National Registration Department staff.
In fact Kamarrudin said: “This is not the mistake of the people but that of the counter staff who are not committed to the duties assigned to them. The majority of the mistakes involved fingerprints, which were not clear. This hindered processing at the headquarters in Kuala Lumpur”.
As the 77,000 applications had been processed and received by the National Registration Department
staff, how can the Deputy Minister for Home Affairs now blame the people for the mistakes in these applications?
DAP calls for suspension of the new identity cards exercise for 15 million Malaysians until the whole process had been greatly simplified to avoid minimum cost and inconvenience to the people.
DAP calls for the suspension of the new identity cards exercise for the 15 million Malaysians until the whole process had been greatly simplified to avoid minimum cost and inconvenience to the people.
The Cabinet must intervene to draw up new policy guidelines for the new issue of identity cards which will completely remove the threat of a blue identity card holder ending up with a red identity card because of spelling or clerical errors in decades-old documents.
The new policy guidelines which the Cabinet must adopt so that they could be implemented by the National Registration Department should include the following five principles:
* This is a chance of new identity card exercise and not a citizenship verification or re-verification exercise;
* As a result, applicants should not be required to amend any one of their supporting documents, like birth certificate, citizenship certificate, the citizenship papers of their parents, because of spelling or clerical error. All these documents should be accepted as valid and legal documents despite any spelling or clerical errors.
* The National Registration Department must accecpt as valid any statutory declaration made in the past, and not reject them on the ground that they were made too long ago, as happened in the case of 55-year-old Lim Seng of Malacca, who was told that a statutory declaration made by his father in 1951 could not be accepted as it was ‘too old’. A statutory declaration remains a statutory declaration whather made thirty, fifty or 100 years ago!
* Because of the complex requirements involved in the issue of new identity cards, an applicant with errors in decades old documents has to make many trips to the Nation Registration Department, going from one section to another, fill up multiple forms and pay for numerous fees. This is not only a nightmare for the people but bureaucracy gone wild. The whole process shouls be simplified whereby an applicant does not have to make several trips to the Nation Registration Department to fill multiple forms and pay numerous fees. No one should have to pay more than $5 for the application of a new identity card, regardless of errors in decades old documents or the condition of the present identity card!
* The blue identity card should be taken as full and conclusive proof that an applicant s entitled to apply for a new identity card. This will completely simplify the nightmarish process in the application of new cards
* Article 30 citizens should not be subjected to another verification exercise as happened in 1970, as it is grossly unfair and unjust to continuously subject citizens to an onerous process requiring to prove their citizenship qualifications again and again. This shows that the Government has no trust in its own citizens.
I call on MCA, Gerakan and MIC Ministers in Cabinet to explain why they allow the unfairness and injustice of the issue of the new identity Cards to continue and why they have refused to take up the matter in Cabinet to lay down new policy guidelines for the National Registration Department.
DAP forms National Blue I/Cs Committee which will have its first meeting on April 8.
The DAP has formed a National Blue I/Cs Committee to highlight and oppose the unfairness and injustices of the exercise to issue new identity cards.
The DAP National Blue I/Cs Committee will mobilise public opinion to demand the removal of these unfairness and injustices, and to have the whole process simplified whereby no blue identity card holder will face the throat of being given a red identity card because of spelling or clerical errors in decades-old documents.
The high-powered DAP National Blue I/Cs Committee is headed by DAP National Vice Chairman and Mp for Kepong, Dr. Tan Seng Giaw. the composition of the DAP National Blue I/cs Committee which will hold its first MEEting at DAP Headquarters in Petaling JaYa on April 8 at 6 pm, is as follows:
Chariman: Dr. Tan Seng Giaw, MP and SA.
Deputy Chairman: Sdr. P. Patto
Vice Chairmen: Sdr. Ahmad Nor, MP.
Sdr. Sim Tong Hin, SA.
Secretary: Sdr. Kerk Kim Mock, MP.
Asst. Secretary: Sdr. Shua Kow Eng,SA.
Treasurers: Sdr. Wee Choo Keong, MP.
Publicity Secretary: Sdr. Chow Kon Tew, SA.
Sdr. Lim Guan Eng, MP.
Sdr. Loke Swee Chin, SA.
Sdr. Jason Wong, MP.
Sdr. Lee Yuen Pong, SA.
Sdr. Wong Peng Seng, MP.
Sdr. Leong Ngah Ngah, SA.
Sdr. George John, SA.
Sdr. Heng Hock Jun
Sdr. Yeo Yang Kiat
Sdr. Fung Ket Wing
DAP will also set up a State Blue I/Cs Committee in each state. The first to be formed is the Malacca DAP State Blue I/Cs Committee headed by Sdr. Sim Tonq Hin as Chairman.
I have also asked DAPSY and Wanita DAP to form Blue I/Cs Committee to demand for the removal of the unfairness and injustices of the issue of new identity cards.