‘Give chance for PM to implement promise on bin, binti’

Khoo-Kay-PengPETALING JAYA: Contrary to the perception of Sarawak PKR , Prime Minister Najib Razak is perfectly capable of reining in the “Little Napoleons” in the National Registration Department (NRD).

These officers stand in the way of the PM’s promise to change the present laws regarding non-Muslim Sabahans whose names include the “bin” and “binti” titles, commonly associated with Muslims, says political analyst Khoo Kay Peng.

Khoo dismissed the argument by Batu Lintang Assemblyman See Chee How, blaming these woes on “Little Napoleons” in the NRD and other government departments, saying that matters of implementation would be resolved once Najib issues a clear directive to the departments.

“Politicians will say such things,” Khoo said of See’s scepticism of Najib’s promise.

“If one is in the Opposition camp, of course they will hope that it won’t be done. If he (Najib) has said that he will do it, give him a chance to do it,” he told FMT.

This follows Najib’s statement in Kota Kinabalu yesterday that he would change the present laws requiring Sabahans, whose names include “bin” and “binti” to prove they are not Muslim.

On the matter of “Little Napoleons” in the NRD, Khoo noted that Najib’s problem was merely an operational and legal one at this point.

“It’s not impossible. Cabinet members with the PM wield a tremendous amount of power in Parliament. As long as they can get the majority … as long as the PM has agreed, I don’t see why not,” Khoo said.

“What is needed is a clear directive. Once that is done, civil servants should just obey. It becomes a disciplinary issue.

“Once that law is passed, then at least people who make complaints have something to refer to. The NRD will have to comply.

“Setting out the directive is the first step, then they can iron out enforcement and implementation issues.”

Khoo also dismissed the notion that Islamist organisations and quarters would aggressively oppose the idea.

“Muslims have always been arguing about being confused by misleading things like the P Ramly (burger) issue,” Khoo said.