KUCHING: The federal government has set up a special taskforce to assist genuine applicants to obtain proper documentations such as birth certificates and MyKads especially in Sarawak, disclosed Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun.
He revealed that he has been appointed by the Federal Cabinet to lead the taskforce in Sarawak while at the national-level it would be led by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who is also Home Affairs Minister.
Entulu said, for Sarawak, a pilot project was carried out in Tamin from Oct 29-31 to gauge the actual number of applicants for legal documentations.
He said from their experience in Tamin, they would come up with certain guidelines on how to carry out the task in all the rural areas of the state.
“With the setting up of this taskforce we have set up a target that by June next year, we hope that we will be able to solve all the outstanding cases of genuine applicants for birth certificates and MyKads.
“But even if we have not completed our task by then, we will still have to continue with the exercise until we can be sure that there is no more people without proper documents in Sarawak,” Entulu told The Borneo Post yesterday.
He said even though currently the total number of genuine applicants from Sarawak stood at 1,670, he believed there could be more cases of people without proper documents, especially among those living deep in the interior of the state.
“From our experience in Tamin, we can gauge how many personnel from the National Registration Department we need for the exercise and what kind of questions we need to ask from the applicants,” he explained.
Entulu, who is also Selangau MP, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak initiated the move after he (Najib) learnt that many people in Sarawak still had no proper documents.
“Thus, we would like to urge the cooperation of all community leaders and the local elected representatives to assist us in this exercise,” he said.
Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Masir Kujat said he and Entulu would steer the taskforce in Sarawak to ensure that only genuine cases would be entertained and be given the proper documentations.
“For the purpose of obtaining proper documentations such as birth certificates and Mykads, all we need is the cooperation and endorsement from the tuai rumah/ketua kampung, penghulu and the local elected representatives,” he said.
He said there had been many complaints regarding the matter as if the government lacked the initiative to solve it.
Meanwhile, Masir said his ministry was working closely with the state government on the issuance of special visas for foreign workers in the state.
“This seems to be an unending story. So we have to act tough on those who flout the laws and we will continue to deport illegal workers and their employers would be charged in court,” he said.
With the setting up of the Border Security Agency (BSA) on Monday, Masir hoped the issue of illegal workers could be minimised
It has been reported that there are at least 300, 000 illegal workers from Indonesia in Sarawak. Most of them are employed in the oil palm plantations, construction sites, restaurants, coffee shops and as housemaids.