The National Registration Department's 'flexible' rules over immigrant's applications for MyKads should be extended to genuine Sabahans.
TAMPARULI: Francis Sopoyut, 48, has been making the news of late for the oddest reason. For the past 10 years he has been trying, albeit unsuccessfully, to change his old Identity Card (IC) to the new MyKad.
The problem is with his thumb prints. One of the thumb prints on his old IC does not match the print from his thumb and this has been reason enough for the National Registration Department (NRD) to literally put him on hold for a decade.
Many people are asking how this strange anomaly could have cropped up.
Former Tamparuli assemblyman Edward Linggu suspects that when Sopoyut was processing his old IC at the age of 12, another person’s fingerprint could have been somehow printed on his application form by mistake.
Tamparuli falls under the Tuaran parliamentary constituency and Linggu is the divisional chairman of the rising opposition State Reform Party (STAR).
Said Linggu: “The other possibility – that Francis’ fingerprint may have changed since the last 36 years – is not acceptable.
“It is a scientific fact that fingerprints are unique for every individual and they don’t change for life.”
The unfortunate Sopoyut, who comes from Kampung Napitas, Tenghilan, near here, has gone through the ordeal of red tapes.
“I was asked to lodge a police report that I had lost my IC. I complied because I wanted to get his new IC quickly but, until now, nothing has happened.
“I have all the documents but still they could not process it because of my fingerprint,” he said.
He said this caused him a lot of problems, including opening bank accounts and managing his children’s schooling.
“I have been waiting for so long and I am now at a loss. I don’t know what to do anymore,” he said.
But Linggu believes the whole problem can easily be solved if the NRD was just a little bit more creative.
“With sufficient witnesses documented through statutory declarations, and openness in the attitude of the NRD, the whole thing can be resolved quickly.
“The problem is the NRD is bogged down with red tape and can never act outside the box, ” he said.
But strangely enough, the NRD seems flexible with the illegal immigrants.
“But strangely it is much easier to give MyKads to illegal immigrants who don’t even have any document whatsoever.
“This speaks volumes about the government’s long-hailed slogan of ‘Bersih, Cekap dan Amanah’,” said Linggu.