Take age into con­sid­er­a­tion when pro­cess­ing ap­pli­ca­tion

New Straits Times - - Letters -

WHILE I was busy with Moth­ers Day cel­e­bra­tion for my mum and wife, I was sur­prised to re­ceive a What­sApp “spe­cial an­nounce­ment from MIC Klang Di­vi­sion” that there will be a spe­cial counter at the voter regis­tra­tion cam­paign in Klang.

The event was or­gan­ised by the Spe­cial Im­ple­men­ta­tion Task force (SITP), Prime Min­is­ter’s De­part­ment, which will help and process ap­pli­ca­tions for birth cer­tifi­cates and MyKads.

Last year, my friend and I as­sisted an 82-year-old wo­man, who de­spite be­ing born here, was not a Malaysian cit­i­zen.

Her late hus­band used to work at the Tengku Am­puan Rahimah Hos­pi­tal and she has seven chil­dren.

The oc­to­ge­nar­ian wanted to travel to Aus­tralia and visit her niece.

She had al­ready ap­plied for cit­i­zen­ship and was wait­ing for her doc­u­ments.

When my friend and I ap­proached the of­fi­cers at the Na­tional Regis­tra­tion De­part­ment (NRD) with the case, we were told that there were thou­sands of pend­ing cases and she had to wait her turn.

The of­fi­cers told us that it would take two years to process her ap­pli­ca­tion.

In the in­terim, the fam­ily went to the Im­mi­gra­tion De­part­ment and it is­sued a Su­rat Akuan Per­jalanan (SAP), which served no pur­pose though it cost RM500.

It is not a pass­port and it can­not be used for trav­el­ling over­seas.

It is sad that those peo­ple with red iden­tity cards can­not travel or leave the coun­try.

De­spite hav­ing the SAP, the coun­try that she wanted to travel to re­fused to is­sue her a visa.

I sug­gest that NRD use its dis­cre­tion when pro­cess­ing cit­i­zen­ship ap­pli­ca­tions by tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the ap­pli­cant’s age.

In cases like this, there should be another way of is­su­ing pass­ports for spe­cial cases, es­pe­cially for some­one who is over 80 years old.

She needs im­me­di­ate ac­tion. It is point­less to have cam­paigns ev­ery now and then, stat­ing that cit­i­zen­ship and birth cer­tifi­cate is­sues will be re­solved, and yet we have among us an 82year-old wo­man who is await­ing her iden­tity card.

I hope that some­one in NRD will pay at­ten­tion to this poor wo­man and give her the right to call her­self a Malaysian af­ter so long a wait, and al­low her to ful­fil her de­sire to visit her niece in Aus­tralia.

R.K.

Kuala Lumpur

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