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KUALA LUMPUR: Hereditary titles cannot be used at will by anybody but must be based on rules set by the National Registration Department (NRD) and the associations concerned.
Its director-general, Datuk Jariah Mohd Said, said titles like Tunku, Tengku, Raja, Wan and Megat could only be used by qualified individuals.
"The use of lineage titles is linked to the father's and the status of the child at birth without taking into consideration the place of birth. This is based on NRD guideline 10/2011," he told Bernama here today.
He said for a child registered under Section 13 of the Births and Deaths Act 1957, the use of the title followed that of the mother and not the father's.
In another development, Jariah said 36,908 marriages overseas had been re-registered in Malaysia for the past 12 years.
She said in 2001 1,692 marriages were registered, 2002 (2,243), 2003 (1,979), 2004 (2,205), 2005 (2,180), 2006 (2,791), 2007 (4,333), 2008 (4,576), 2009 (5,017), 2010 (4,551) and 4,312 last year.
"For 2012, NRD has so far registered 1,029 marriages," she said.
On the awareness among Malaysians to re-register their marriages held overseas, Jariah said the matter was subjective and difficult to evaluate. -- BERNAMA