NRD says late birth registrations still available in Sarawak, only approval shifted to Putrajaya

Merdeka babies sleep in their cribs in Hospital Kuala Lumpur August 31, 2018. — Picture by Razak Ghazali
Merdeka babies sleep in their cribs in Hospital Kuala Lumpur August 31, 2018. — Picture by Razak Ghazali

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 25 — Sarawakians need not travel to Putrajaya to belatedly register the birth of their children, the National Registration Department clarified today.

After a Sarawak activist complained yesterday that new security measures would force those in remote areas of the state to go to Putrajaya for late birth registrations, the department explained that it will continue to accept applications in the state.

It added that the newly announced security measures only involved a centralised approval panel chaired by the NRD’s director-general and would not affect the public.

“The upgrade towards the late registration should not be worried and applications are still accepted as usual. And we assure that it will not burden the public, especially those from the rural areas, who face logistics issues.

“The improvements on the SOP on the late registration of birth certificates and identification cards is to ensure that the procedure is done transparently with integrity as well as to curb abuse of power,” the department said in response to a Malay Mail report yesterday.

Yesterday, human rights activist Peter John Jaban urged Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to not stop the state NRD from processing late birth applications in Sarawak.

He said the ministry’s move in response to the discovery of a syndicate selling MyKad and birth certificates to foreigners would exacerbate the issue of statelessness in Sarawak, especially for those residing in the remote areas.

Separately, the NRD said that it is mulling a DNA database as a long-term security measure, which it said would also be extended to birth certificates.

“We are studying the mechanism as a thorough study is needed as the implementation would involve other agencies as well, such as the Health Ministry and the Chemistry Department, which has legal aspects and policies that has to be formed and refined before it is fully executed,” the statement read.

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