KOTA KINABALU: The National Registration Department (NRD) Sabah wants the Borneo Evangelical Mission, or Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB), to come forward with the name list of the 162 Christian individuals who had allegedly been classified as Islam in their MyKad because of bin or binti in their names.
Sabah NRD Deputy Director Adrian Allan Richard, in making this call, said “we can retrieve the records, if they are unhappy with the process, and go through each case personally”.
The NRD has records from the 1970s which have been digitised by the system. Earlier records have apparently not been digitised.
According to Adrian, the NRD has no jurisdiction to decide on the religion of MyKad holders.
“We go by documents,” he said in a media statement. “We have to check the parent’s religion, marriage certificate and other records before we list an individual’s religion.”
Having a bin or binti in the name, continued Adrian, is not the criterion for a MyKad holder to be listed as Islam in the document.
He was commenting on the SIB President, Jerry Dusing’s claim last Thursday during a public prayer rally that the NRD had claimed that it had lost the files of the 162 bin and binti cases which were reportedly lodged two years ago.
Jerry also alleged that the classification of Christians as Islam in their MyKad’s has caused the holders many difficulties. These included entering into legal marriages, obtaining birth certificates and school registrations.
Adrian denied that technical glitches, as implied by Jerry in his statement, can thwart the process of correcting the MyKad. “If there was an administrative error, it can be rectified by the system by reference to documentary evidence,” he assured.
He cautioned that mixed marriages from different religions, illegitimate marriages, divorces, missing marriage certificates, among others, “can complicate individual cases”.
The bottom line is that whether there are technicalities or no technicalities; the law will dictate how each case would be governed in the end, he added without elaborating.
“The NRD has no business determining and dictating the religion of a MyKad holder,” is the consensus among lawyers in the know. “Why advise those who don’t want to be classified as Islam to go through the Syariah Court?” he further said.