Thursday, January 27

‘Use DNA to vet citizenship’

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Many people, especially those in the rural areas, are stateless for they could not proof their citizenship — Entulu

KUCHING: The Home Ministry should consider using DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) profiling to verify the authenticity of late MyKad applicants, Rural and Regional Development Deputy Minister Datuk Joseph Entulu suggested yesterday.

A PRESSING PROBLEM: Entulu talking to the press while (from left) Mattius, Merejok, Lawing and Mattius’ stepfather Ali Kieu listen attentively.

Such a move, he said, could help to address the problems faced by genuine applicants, especially those living in the rural areas, whose applications for MyKad were rejected on administrative grounds.

“I would like to appeal to the Home Minister concerning the dilemma faced by many people in my constituency of Selangau.

“They have such a problem because their parents do not have valid documents, despite being born in Sarawak, due to illiteracy and communication factors,” he told a press conference here yesterday.

Entulu, however, said he believed that before the DNA initiative could be used, the National Registration Act had to be amended first.

Also at the press conference was 20-year-old Mattius Nawah from Rh Nyawin Judi, located at Mile 36 Sibu-Bintulu Road.

Entulu, who is also Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) deputy president, said Mattius is considered ‘stateless’ because he did not have any valid document, except for a primary school-leaving certificate which he received from SK Nanga Yong Kapit.

Mattius’ mother, Merejok Nyalong, aged 38, is also in a similar predicament.

But interestingly, Merejok’s mother, Lawing Nabong, who is 60 years old, has a Mykad.

Last August, Mattius was arrested by police at his work place in Sungei Maong for not having any valid documents.

He was, however, later released after the police realised that he had a BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guerin) vaccination scar on his upper left arm.

Infants are routinely given BCG jabs at birth at all clinics and hospitals throughout the country.

Entulu revealed that at present about 400 villagers in Tamin alone did not have birth certificates or MyKads.