KOTA KINABALU: The National Registration Department (NRD) has been urged to act quickly to dispel the notion that Islamisation of Christian bin and binti in Sabah was an unwritten “state policy”.
Upko Vice-President Siringan Gubat said that many people in Sabah are beginning to compare it with the illegal immigrant problem in the state which still hasn’t been settled.
“Based on feedback which I personally received, people in Sabah feel that there is something very wrong with the process and registration system of the NRD,” he said, commenting on news reports about 162 cases of Sabah Christians with “bin” and “binti” in their names being classified as Islam in their MyKad.
He referred to a statement made by the president of the Borneo Evangelical Council Sabah Rev. Jerry Dusing that he had lodged a complaint with the NRD two years ago about the 162 cases in Sabah but was told no further action could be taken because all files were lost.
Siringan who is also the Minister of Resources and Information Technology and Panginatan Assemblyman, does not understand why the NRD changed a person’s religion or race based on bin and binti in their names without confirming it with the person concerned.
Bureaucratic conversions inherently invalid, null and void
Lawyers in the know say that the NRD should correct the “mistakes” based on the facts.
“Telling people with Islam MyKads to go to the Syariah Court shows insincerity and a policy of conversion through bureaucratic mechanisms,” is the consensus in the legal community.
One lawyer pointed out that these people did not recite the syahadah and neither were they born Muslims. Such bureaucratic conversions are inherently invalid, null and void, he added.
“If the NRD is not willing to admit its mistakes and make amends, this is a matter for Judicial Review, not the Syariah Court. The Syariah Court has no jurisdiction over non-Muslims.” he further said.