NRD denies claims 300,000 Indians have no identity card

KUANTAN: The National Registration Department (NRD) has refuted allegations that 300,000 members of the Indian community do not have identity card or citizenship when the turnout at the MyDaftar programme was far lower than the number claimed.

NRD director-general Datuk Mohd Yazid Ramli said in the 2017 Mega MyDaftar programme, only 1,813 people submitted their applications at 19 locations since June 5.

He said the programme conducted with the cooperation of the Special Implementation Task Force (SITF) and the Prime Minister's Department would go on at four locations namely in Kuantan today, Seberang Perai, Penang tomorrow; Temerloh, Pahang on June 21 before ending in Putrajaya on June 22.

Only 1,813 people came and of the total, 1,018 sought advice and obtained forms or enquired on previous applications, he added.

"During the programme, NRD also received applications from other races. Regardless of their problems, we are advising the people to come and their issues can be facilitated with the NRD," he told a media conference here today.

Mohd Yazid also gave his assurance NRD would attempt to resolve the problems of applicants as soon as possible as the department needed to investigate, including check with hospitals on the alleged place of birth of the applicant.

Meanwhile, SITF manager G. K. Ananddan described the allegation that 300,000 Indians were having citizenship woes as illogical because the number was too big as compared to the population of the Indian community in the country, estimated at 2.1 million.

The MyDaftar programme, according to Ananddan, has been implemented since 2011 and so far, it had only received 12,000 applications from the Indian community on problems relating to birth certificate, identity card and citizenship.

He said from the total, 7,000 applicants succeeded in resolving their problems while the remaining applications were still under consideration as there were incomplete documents and so on, he said.

He also ruled out the possibility the Indian community was unaware of the MyDaftar programme as there was extensive publicity given via print, electronic, social media as well as brochure distribution at popular locations.

"The problem of citizenship is due to the lack of awareness and the social ills within the community itself. The government should not be blamed in this issue as the responsibility to register a child's birth rests on parents or guardians.

"They should come forward to register. Do not stay silent and come to seek help at the NRD only when the children are unable to attend school as they do not have the birth certificate." — Bernama