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Great-grandma can't get aid because she's '16'
SHE is well into her 90s, but her MyKad says she is only 16. Puan Ahmad has four children, 19 grandchildren and 47 great-grandchildren.
Her MyKad number is printed as 960412-02-0058*, which, if read as it is, means she was born in 1996.
But this is not an error. According to the National Registration Department (NRD), the asterisk at the end of the last digit means that Puan is a senior citizen and her date of birth is unknown.
Puan, from Kampung Keria near Kuala Sanglang, here, claimed that she was born in the early 1920s. When she applied for her MyKad in 2003, she had to surrender her old identity card, which was the only document she had.
She said her "age" had never been a problem before but now being "sweet 16" made her not eligible for the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M).
"When people look at my MyKad, it says I'm 16, but when they look at me, they see an old lady.
"I applied for BR1M but was turned down. When my children made enquiries, they were told that it was because I was 16 years old," she said at her house yesterday.
Puan, who said she could not remember her date of birth, lives with her third son, Mat Yusof Kamis, 63.
Her granddaughter, Siti Noor Atikah Mat Yusop, 21, said she had tried to apply for a new MyKad for Puan which would bear her real date of birth, but without much success.
"The State Registration Department said her MyKad was new and could still be used."
NRD public relations officer Jainisah Mohd Noor said Puan's MyKad was valid and active.
Jainisah said the first two digits in a card denoted the year of birth, but for Puan, this was not so.
"There is an asterisk after the last digit which denotes a senior citizen. The asterisk also indicates senior citizens whose date of birth cannot be established."
She said at the time of the application, Puan had said she was born in 1896, but this could not be verified.
She said according to Regulation 5 of the National Registration Regulations 1990 (amendment 2007), the first two digits should reflect the year of birth, the following two should reflect the month of birth and the next two digits, the day of birth. For exceptional circumstances, such numbers shall end with an asterisk.
"NRD has an agency link-up system, and the relevant agency handling BR1M can do a check on Puan's MyKad status to verify her identity and age," Jainisah added.