KUALA LUMPUR: A Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) is not needed to investigate the selling of fake MyKads by a syndicate, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman said investigations into the case, which saw 20 people arrested in Penang, was ongoing and police had been given full authority to investigate and bring the culprits to justice.
“The ministry views the selling of MyKads seriously and will not protect any government officials involved in the case.
“We have given full authority to the police to ensure the perpetrators are prosecuted,” he said in response to a question by Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub (BN-Umno-Machang) who had asked whether there was a need to change the system to prevent such cases from recurring.
Azis said the ministry would carry out immediate improvements to the National Registration Department’s (NRD) system, which include tightening its Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
He said it would include tightening the application process for late registrations of birth which could only be done at the department’s headquarters in Putrajaya, increasing frequency of spot checks at NRD offices nationwide, restricting access to the database among NRD officials, two-year term limits and a rotation system for officers and updating the NRD database to prevent abuse.
“For the long term, NRD is looking into establishing a databank or biometric system for birth certificates to curb abuse of such documents,” he said, adding that NRD had conducted seven operations on fake MyKad syndicates in the last 10 years, which saw eight people charged in court for selling fake MyKads.
On a separate matter, Azis dismissed claims that 24,000 illegal immigrants from China and India had entered the country during the technical glitch at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport recently.
Earlier, Azis had said that a new SOP, which covered citizenship applications, would be implemented starting next year.
He said the new mechanism would include an explanation to unsuccessful applicants on the reasons for their applications to be rejected.
“Between 2013 and 2018, a total 142 applications have been approved under Article 15(2) of the Federal Constitution and 1,683 applications approved under Article 15(a),” he said in reply to a question by Karupaiya Mutusami (PH-PKR-Padang Serai).
Karupaiya had asked about the number of citizenship applications approved under Article 15(2) for children aged under 21 whose parent is a citizen and Article 15A (persons below 21 under special circumstances) of the Federal Constitution between 2013 and 2018.
A total of 24,466 applications were received by the government between Jan 1, 2018, and Sept 15 this year.
He said these comprised applications made under various articles of the Constitution — Article 15(1) for wives of citizens (4,142 applications), 15(2) for persons below 21 under special circumstances (2,253), Article 15(A) 10,328, Article 16 (1,037), and Article 19 (6,706).
For the same period, he said 5,784 applicants had been awarded Malaysian citizenships — Indonesia (2,028 applications), India (548), Thailand (416), the Philippines (239) and Vietnam (130).
The NRD received 111,412 applications for Malaysian citizenship between 2013 and 2018 and 24,327 were approved.
Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was reported as saying that the revised SOP would ensure that every application was considered more carefully, fairly and in a speedy manner, with clearer guidelines in handling and considering applications for citizenship, particularly under Article 15A.