We don’t trust NRD, says Parti Bersatu Sabah on registration exercise

PBS president Maximus Ongkili. (Bernama pic)

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) today expressed concern over the forthcoming mobile registration by the National Registration Department (NRD) in Semporna.

“Simply put, we don’t trust the NRD, especially since just about a month ago, some people, including NRD officers, were arrested for their involvement in illegal issuance of MyKad,” said PBS president Maximus Ongkili.

Speaking after launching a seminar on agriculture and political issues for Mukim Simpangan in Kota Marudu, Ongkili said such an exercise must be done transparently.

“Some other agencies must be involved, such as the police, immigration and court officers. They must verify the applicant’s birth certificate, other supporting documents and family background.

“Also, independent observers from the various parties must also be present.

“PBS will be sending senior leaders from the east coast divisions to observe the exercise to ensure that the operations are conducted legally and in order,” he said.

The Kota Marudu MP said PBS feared some irresponsible parties would take advantage of such an exercise to gain Malaysian citizenship.

Recently, a message announcing a mobile registration programme by the NRD to give birth certificates and identity cards was widely circulated on WhatsApp and Facebook.

The message also stated that the exercise would be conducted from Aug 22 to Aug 26 in Semporna.

Semporna is a district on the east coast of Sabah. The Semporna MP is Chief Minister Shafie Apdal.

The district has about 135,000 inhabitants, a third of whom are foreigners, mainly from the Sulu Archipelago and Mindanao.

On another matter, Ongkili questioned the slow progress of investigations into three persons, including an NRD officer, over the falsification of identification documents.

“What happened to the case? Why is it that no one has been charged yet? We want these people to be brought to justice so it would serve as a lesson to others,” he said.

Sabah deputy police commissioner Zaini Jass had said the suspects, aged between 30 and 43, were nabbed on July 23 following a report lodged by a 55-year-old man who claimed that one of the suspects had offered to provide him with a birth certificate and identity card for RM3,500 and RM6,000 respectively.

“This is a serious crime and such activities must be stopped at any cost.

“We do not want illegal immigrants to obtain citizenship illegally,” said Ongkili.