KOTA KINABALU: Problematic applications for Malaysian identity cards are listed into three categories, P1, P2 and P3, according to National Registration Department (NRD) Identity Card Division head Roslan Alias said.
Roslan told the Royal Commission of Inquiry on illegal immigrants in Sabah panel yesterday that categories P1 and P2 were applications that could not be processed over the counter.
These applications were sent to the special panel set up by NRD to specifically consider where the identity card can be issued, he said when questioned by conducting officer Datuk Azmi Ariffin .
“P3 is for applications which are not approved and canceled. This also means that the identity card numbers issued to the applicants on the temporary receipts were revoked,” Roslan said, adding that a total of 16,699 of these P3 applications were canceled by NRD.
He said the applications were rejected because most of the applicants failed to produce the necessary supporting documents.
Roslan added that not all applications listed under the P1 and P2 categories were approved.
Asked by lawyer Datuk James Ghani, who was representing Dr. Chong Eng Leong, if any of the applicants were still in possession of the canceled identification cards, Roslan replied, “yes, maybe they photocopied the identification documents including the temporary receipts.
James also asked if there was a possibility that these people were registered as voters, to which Roslan said, ‘I cannot comment on that as voting is an individual’s right, Also voter registration comes under the purview of the Election Commission, not NRD.
To a question from Commissioner Henry Chin whether NRD had carried out an internal investigation to find out why and to whom the Malaysian identity cards were issued, and was it because of careless(ness) (or) with the element of bribery or negligence, Roslan replied, “internal investigation was conducted after 1996 when the NRD officers were arrested for wrongdoings.”
Before posing the questions, Chin had cited Roslan’s previous statement that 970,119 blue identity cards were issued in Sabah up to 1996.
Of the total, 127,949 were ‘problematic’ and of the total, 91,656 identity cards were canceled by NRD because they had been issued through dubious means.
Roslan, when explaining about the identity card application process, said that prior to 1990, the supporting documents were the applicant’s birth certificate or a statutory declaration confirming the place of birth.
The statutory declaration must be signed by a village head and District Officer or Assistant District Officer at the place where the applicant was born.
It is however not the NRD’s responsibility to verify if the supporting documents were authentically signed by the DO or ADO, he stressed, adding that it was accepted at face value at the time of application.