‘Tun’ and ‘Mahathir’ among most popular baby names in Malaysia

Merdeka babies sleep in their cribs in Hospital Kuala Lumpur August 31, 2018. NRD deputy director-general (operations) Jasri Kasim said the department’s records also showed that 102 people were named ‘Merdeka’. — Picture by Razak Ghazali
Merdeka babies sleep in their cribs in Hospital Kuala Lumpur August 31, 2018. NRD deputy director-general (operations) Jasri Kasim said the department’s records also showed that 102 people were named ‘Merdeka’. — Picture by Razak Ghazali

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 18 — The popularity of a personality is one factor influencing parents when naming their babies for registration at the National Registration Department (NRD).

Not surprisingly then, names like Tun and Mahathir are among the popular ones recorded by the NRD, with 4,726 people named Tun and 420 named Mahathir.

However, the NRD said the use of the name Tun is currently limited to those with Tun lineage, unlike previously when it could be used by anyone.

NRD deputy director-general (operations) Jasri Kasim said the department’s records also showed that the name ‘Malaysia’ was also popular, with 129 people, while 102 were named ‘Merdeka’.

“The NRD hs several standards which must be abided before parents can submit their names to the department, especially the meaning of the names, as some names may have different meanings to different communities.

“The NRD does not stop parents from giving their children any name, but if the name affects the recipient, then the department will propose other suitable names,” he told Bernama in an exclusive interview here recently.

He said the parents’ choice of names were largely influenced by current events and factors such as politics, sports, entertainment as well as important events which occur when the baby was born.

“If the baby is born when the country’s political climate was hot, then names of political leaders would be popular, similarly a child born during the World Cup or when certain artistes were popular,” he said.

Jasri added that the names of the states were also popular with 176 people named Sabah, Johor (163), Perak (130), Melaka (91) and Kedah (60).

There are also 37 people named Pahang, Sarawak (12), Labuan (8), Perlis (7), Putrajaya (5), Selangor (3), Kelantan (2) and Pulau Pinang (1), but so far, no one has been named Terengganu.

The NRD is responsible for registering the birth of every child in Malaysia under the Birth and Death Registration Act 1957 (Act 299) for Peninsular Malaysia, the Births and Deaths Registration Ordinance 1951 (Sarawak Cap. 10) for Sarawak and the Sabah Birth and Death Registration Ordinance 1951 (Cap.123) for Sabah. — Bernama

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