MIRI (April 11): The Home Ministry has been called on to be more humane in the case of Lawas cancer patient Lina Samuel, whose MyKad was seized by the National Registration Department (JPN) last November for allegedly being an Indonesian.
In making the call, activist Agnes Padan said while the Home Ministry has every right to grant, issue, or confiscate MyKads, the human factor needs to be considered.
“In the case of Lina Samuel, whose MyKad was confiscated by JPN Lawas, she needs her IC now more than ever because of her current situation where she is suffering from colon cancer.
“She needs help right now, not later. Because we never know how much time she has left,” Agnes said in a telephone interview.
Lina, 65, a mother of four from Long Sebangang, near Lawas, was diagnosed with colon cancer in February and has a follow-up with Miri Hospital specialists on April 17.
“How is she going to travel to Miri Hospital for her follow-up when she does not have her MyKad? She cannot travel by land or air,” asked Agnes.
“She does not have a passport to travel via land because if by land, she will have to transit through Brunei. And she also cannot travel by air without her MyKad, unless the authorities allow her to use the photocopy of her MyKad. This means she cannot go anywhere for her cancer treatment.”
Agnes said Lina is also worried about the cost of her cancer treatment now that she has been stripped of her MyKad.
Lina’s two sons are oddjobbers, while one of her daughters operates a roadside food stall and the other is a housewife.
“All her children cannot find better jobs because they are stateless. They do not have a fixed income, so how are they going to help their mother with the expensive fee for her treatment later on?” Agnes questioned.
According to Agnes, Lina’s MyKad was confiscated by JPN Lawas when she wanted to change her address to enable her to vote during the 15th general election.
Lina had claimed she was told by JPN staff that her MyKad was confiscated following an order from a superior.
“JPN should not confiscate any MyKad without explaining the reason to the holder. There should be proper channels or SOPs (standard operating procedures),” Agnes stressed.
Lina’s story made the rounds on social media yesterday after it was reported by Malaysiakini.
In response, Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said Lina was stripped of her MyKad because JPN discovered she is an Indonesian citizen.
He said JPN does not arbitrarily withdraw identification documents.
Saifuddin said an investigation panel would probe the issue.