Another case of brazen violation of the religious rights of non-Muslims by officials from the Malaysian Islamic Departments and the civil service (in this case the NRD). Perhaps the authorities will respond to the complaint from Christian leaders; perhaps they will follow through with some token corrections and ignore many other cases not highlighted. Still, such violation should never have happened in the first place.
Be assured, the government officials will continue with their brazen misdemeanors because their mischief is often unnoticed, and they know they will not be penalized by their superiors in cases where their misdemeanors are exposed. Hmm…perhaps these are not random misdeeds of overzealous small time operatives, that it, these officials are actually following directives from their superiors (who often feign surprise and ignorance when complaints are brought to their attention)…Saya yang menurut perintah
Related Post: State-Sponsored Covert Conversions Unbeknownst to Bumiputra Christian Victims LINK
Additional Report by Malaysiakini added on 17 Dec 2012 given below LINK
MCCBCHST: NRD Must Recognise That Historically “Bin” And “Binti” Used By Both Christians And Muslims In Sabah And Sarawak LINK
Majlis Perundingan Malaysia Agama Buddha, Kristian, Hindu, Sikh dan Tao
Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism
18 November 2012
MCCBCHST Press Statement: NRD Must Recognise That Historically “Bin” And “Binti” Used By Both Christians And Muslims In Sabah And Sarawak
The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) notes with alarm the National Registration Department’s (NRD) actions in Sabah where they have unilaterally and arbitrarily listed practising Christians as Muslims in their identity cards simply because they have ‘bin’ or ‘binti’ in their names.
The NRD’s further decision that it would continue to list such Bumiputra Christians as Muslims until they have obtained an order from a Syariah court to say that they are not Muslims is a violation of the affected persons constitutional rights and Fundamental liberties as enshrined in Article 11 and 12of the Federal Constitution.
The NRD should note the Historical position that in Sabah ‘bin’ and ‘binti’ does not necessarily mean they are Muslims. More so as the test case filed by Intim bt Lambaran and her 2 daughters show that they had been baptized as Christians and were never at any time Muslims. These facts have been sufficient for those like Intim binti Lambatan to be listed as Christians in their MYKAD by the NRD.
In the present case Intim binti Lambatan should have filed a Writ action in the Civil High Court to compel NRD to list them as Christians in their MYKAD and not the Shayriah Court, as the SYARIAH COURT HAS NO JURISDICTION OVER NON-MUSLIMS.
In the latest case of SITI HASNAH VANGARAMA ABDULLAH v TUN DR MAHATHIR MOHAMMAD (as the President of Perkim) & ORS (Current Law Journal dated 30/7/2012 – Express Reporting Services) facts showed that Vangarama’s Hindu parents had converted to Islam in 1983 and purportedly converted her to the Islamic faith. The Islamic Religious Department, Pahan through an Affidavit stated that Vangarama’s parents had converted to Islam in 1983 and also converted their 5 children to Islam including Vangarama who was only an infant aged 1 year 3 months at the time. Vangarama contested her conversion and despite PERKIM and Majlis Agama Islam Negeri Pulau Pinang saying that Vangarama was properly converted and that her case must be tried by the Syariah Court. The Court of Appeal refused to accept this argument and ruled that there being contest of facts, the matter must be decided by the Civil High Court. The Court of Appeal further added that there were also important constitutional issues to be decided, which came under the Civil High Court jurisdiction only and not the Syariah Court.
The NRD is thus acting unconstitutionally and in an arbitrary manner. Intim binti Lambatan and her daughters are advised to file a writ Action immediately against the NRD Department as advised in the Vangarama’s case quoted above.
The People of Sabah should demand accountability from their government and elected leaders for this sad state of affairs. They are the ones who have allowed this to happen and remained passive.
MCCBCHST therefore urges that the Home Minister direct the National Registration Department to rectify and reflect the true religion of the aggrieved party upon notification without reference to any third party.
Daozhang Tan Hoe Chieow, AMS
Sardar Jagir Singh Deputy President, MCCBCHST
Venerable Sing Kan Vice President, MCCBCHST
Reverend Dr. Thomas Philips Vice President, MCCBCHST
Mr. RS. Mohan Shan, JMW, AMK, BKM, PJK Vice President, MCCBCHST
Mr. Prematilaka KD. Serisena Hon. Secretary General, MCCBCHST
From FreeMalaysiaToday LINK
Sabah MyKad error: ‘Ensure NRD staff know directive’ Dec 13, 2012
The Sabah NRD has changed its tune and is now suddenly claiming that it can ‘rectify immediately’ errors in the MyKad.
KOTA KINABALU: It’s common knowledge that between the “directives” announced by Prime Minister Najb Tun Razak and “delivery”, there is period of “nothingness” when civil servants claim they are not informed or are waiting for the “order” to implement the decision.
With this in mind, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) secretary-general Teo Chee Kang has urged the authorities to immediately ensure that a “proper guideline” be put in place to deal with the issues in the National Registration Department (NRD).
“I am glad that the federal Cabinet has cleared the air on this issue. But I propose proper guidelines be formulated in the NRD so that the officers can be guided accordingly,” he said.
Teo was commenting on reports that the Cabinet had given the NRD the go-ahead to rectify mistakes in the religious status of non-Muslim Bumiputeras in their MyKads.
Non-Muslim Bumiputeras whose names bear the word “binti” and “bin” have had their religious status tagged as “Islam” in their MyKads by the NRD.
The NRD has always maintained that it would continue to list Bumiputera Christians in Sabah as Muslims as long as they are known by “bin” or “binti”.
The department has also refused to entertain any requests to amend this status, saying that it would only act upon receiving an order from the Syariah High Court clearing the applicants’ status as to whether these Bumiputeras were indeed Christians and not Muslims.
Yesterday, reports quoting federal Minister Bernard Dompok noted that Najib had agreed to allow NRD to rectify the error without having to wait for the Syariah Court certification.
Said Teo: “I believe it is fundamentally wrong for NRD officers to require an order from the Syariah Court to amend a person’s religion which was mistakenly registered as ‘Islam’.
“I welcome the decision of the Cabinet, as disclosed by Dompok [United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation president] that such rectification will not involve the Syariah Courts and that it could be done at the NRD.”
Meanwhile, Sabah NRD director Ismail Ahmad has denied that there is “difficulty” in rectifying errors in the MyKad.
He claimed the mistaken tagging of the religious status of non-Muslim Bumiputeras were “technical glitches” that occurred when NRD first started computerising its system.
“Sometimes we make mistakes but this is actually something that can be rectified immediately. All you have to do is point out the mistake and we will rectify it for you,” he said.
In Sarawak, meanwhile, four cases of “stateless” children have led Assistant Minister of Communications Lee Kim Shim to believe that it is only the tip of the iceberg.
“I believe and suspect there are many, not only children but also adults, who are still without identify cards and birth certificates, particularly those living in the squatters in the city and in the rural interior,” he said.
He urged the NRD to send out its mobile units to squatter areas, villages and longhouses to register those without the identification documents.
He also urged the NRD to speed up the process of registering the “stateless” children so as not to deprive them of education and healthcare.
He said he would also write to the Home Ministry to request for a taskforce to be sent to Sarawak to look into the matter,
“Stateless” children are a big problem in Sabah and in Sarawak.
While the numbers in Sarawak are sketchy, aid workers and NGOs in Sabah estimate there are about 50,000 stateless Indonesian children and thousands more of Filipino descent.
Most of these children were born in Sabah but do not possess birth certificates or any form of documentation to prove their nationality.
A Press Statement from The NECF Commission on Sabah Affairs (COSA)
KOTA KINABALU (Saturday) The NECF Commission on Sabah Affairs (COSA) welcome the Cabinet’s decision to resolve with urgency the long standing dilemma of Bumiputra Christians in Sabah wrongly classified as Muslims in their MyKad.
“This is a step in the right direction to avoid further confusion over the status of Bumiputra Christians in Sabah,” said Datuk Jerry Dusing, chairman of the National Evangelical Christian fellowship Commission on Sabah Affairs in a statement today.
The statement also said the assurance by the State National Registration Department that the error in recording the religious status in MyKad can be resolved immediately is a positive move.
COSA hopes with this, the injustice and the huge back log of unresolved MyKad cases can be cleared quickly without having to go through the Syariah Court.
COSA will immediately seek the intervention of both the Cabinet and the state NRD to remove the long protracted dispute from the Kudat Syariah High Court where it will have to determine whether three baptised Christians who have been Christians since birth and have never been Muslims are indeed Christians and not Muslims. After a series of postponements, the case is scheduled to be heard five days before Christmas.
The statement said COSA urge the authorities to act with utmost urgency to amend the error in the entry in their MyKad as Christians and not Muslims so that the Syariah Court is not forced to make any judgment or order which may further complicate the problem.
COSA said the controversy came to light when a test case was mounted by a 53 year-old widow of Banggi ethnicity, Intim binti Lambatan, and her two adult daughters, Norina binti Nuhudan,28, and Listin Nuhudan, 22, after they were classified as Muslims in their MyKad when all three are baptised Christians belonging to the Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) denomination.
The statement said the Jabatan Hal Ehwal Agama Islam Negeri Sabah – JHEAINS – or the Sabah Islamic Affairs Department, had clarified their names are not on the department’s register, thus indicating they are not Muslim converts.
But the NRD would not rectify its error and asked Intim to go the Kudat Syariah High Court for a declaration that she is not a Muslim. After several delays, the case came up for hearing on 29 Oct 2012 but both JHEAINS and the NRD did not turn up, forcing another postponement.
COSA cited press reports that the United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said the matter has been resolved at the Federal Cabinet level. He said Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has given the NRD the go-ahead (to rectify the errors) instead of having to go through the Syariah Court.
Dompok, who is also the Plantation industries and Commodities Minister, said the Cabinet had also decided to appoint him as the “focal point” in Sabah while Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Douglas Unggah Embas was directed to monitor Sarawak. Dompok said that he will render the necessary assistance.
Meanwhile, COSA added that the Sabah state director of NRD Ismail bin Ahmad said the errors were caused by “technical glitches.” He assured those facing such problems that all they need to do is to go to his office and point out the error and it would be rectified.
** See report in The STAR LINK
Added on 17 Dec 2012
Gov’t told to start correcting Sabah MyKad gaffes LINK
Malaysiakini 15 Dec 2012
The bumiputera Christian community in Sabah, set to celebrate Christmas in 10 days time has welcomed the cabinet decision to resolve their long-standing MyKads dilemma recording some as Muslims, and wants swift action.
National Evangelical Christian Fellowship Commission of Sabah Affairs (NECF-COSA) said they will seek immediate cabinet and state NRD intervention to remove the long protracted dispute from the Kudat Syariah High Court which is to determine whether three baptised Christian , adhering to their faith since birth, are not Muslims.
“We urge the authorities to act with the utmost urgency to amend the error in the entry in their MyKads as Christians and not Muslims so that the Syariah Court is not forced to arrive at any judgment or order which may further complicate the problem.”
NECF-COSA in a statement said the cabinet move was a step in the right direction.
“NECF – Cosa welcomes the cabinet decision to resolve with urgency the long-standing dilemma faced by bumiputera Christians with regards to their MyKad.
“This is a step in the right direction to avoid further confusion over the status of bumiputra Christians in Sabah,” said Jerry Dusing, chairman (right) of the NECF, today.
“The assurance by the state National Registration Department (NRD) that the error in recording the religious status in MyKad can be resolved immediately is a positive move.
We hope this injustice and the huge back log of unresolved MyKad cases can be cleared quickly without going through the Syariah Court.”
Last month, it was reported that NRD practice of randomly including “bin” or “binti” in Sabah Christians names which identifies them as Muslims had come under strong attack.
United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation president, Bernard Dompok, who is also the Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister, had said the cabinet and Prime Minister Najib Razak, had given the NRD the green light to rectify the errors without going to the Syariah Court.
The cabinet had also appointed Bernard as the “focal point” in Sabah while Natural Resources and Environment Minister Douglas Unggah Embas had been tasked to monitor Sarawak.
Christians classified as Muslims
The controversy, came to light when a 53-year-old Banggi ethnic widow, Intim binti Lambatan, and her two daughters, Norina binti Nuhudan, 28, and Listin Nuhudan, 22, were classified as Muslims in their MyKad when all three had been baptised Christians of Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB).
Even the Sabah Islamic Affairs Department had clarified that their names are not on the department’s register, thus indicating they are not Muslim converts.
However, the problem remains as the NRD would not rectify the error and asked Intim and her daughters to get a declaration that they are not Muslims from the Kudat Syariah High Court.
The case, NEFC-COSA said surfaced last October but was postponed due to the absence of other concerned parties.
NECF-COSA added that the Sabah NRD director Ismail Ahmad blamed the errors on “technical glitches” and requested those facing such problems to call on the office for rectification