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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 — All Malaysians should view the syndicate selling birth certificates and MyKads to foreigners as a serious problem and not use the issue for political gain, Syahredzan Johan said today.
The lawyer and aide to DAP’s Lim Kit Siang said the forgery and sale could be considered an act of treason and insulting to Malaysians struggling to be documented despite living in the country since birth.
“There are many Malaysians in the peninsula and in Sabah and Sarawak who are not recognised as citizens even though they were born and have lived here their entire lives, with the reason of them not having sufficient documents or being unable to satisfy all the conditions of JPN,” he said in his statement referring to the Malay acronym for the National Registration Department (NRD).
“Because of that acts like selling documents affirming the citizenship to foreigners is an action that amounts to treason.
“When there are individuals who are easily producing these citizenship documents to foreigners for the sake of money, that is also an insult towards the thousands whose lives they have disrupted and affected because their citizenships have not been approved due to documentation issues,” he said in a statement.
Two weeks ago, six people including an assistant director from Penang NRD were charged with 32 counts of selling illegally issued MyKad and Malaysian birth certificates to foreigners.
The ring was discovered by an Immigration officer who caught an apparent foreigner applying for a passport using a MyKad but was unable to converse in Malay.
Syahredzan told Umno secretary general Tan Sri Annuar Musa to look at the issue for the gravity of the situation and to not politicise it.
Syahredzan was referring to a tweet Annuar posted on Monday night in which the Umno man suggested the sale of the birth certificates and MyKads was the brainchild of DAP.
Annuar’s tweet also noted that DAP’s Jelutong MP, RSN Rayer, was representing one of the accused.
“I also urge parties such as Umno secretary general Tan Sri Annuar Musa, who made a false accusation on his Twitter handle on Sept 23, to not take advantage of the situation nor play up the issue as political ammunition.
“All parties should stand united in eradicating this syndicate,” Syahredzan said.
He said such exposure of such syndicates should be taken seriously by all and warranted comprehensive investigations from authorities.
“This includes if (there are such syndicates) in other states, those responsible must be hauled up to face the law,” he said.
Syahredzan also urged the NRD to take into account the unsolved issue of stateless Malaysians before implementing new guidelines to curb forgery, advising them to relook at their methods to make sure those still sorting out their citizenships are not punished further with lengthy administrative processes.