PENAMPANG: Lerry Joseph Jinilus is an undocumented citizen in his own country.
The 22-year-old Dusun lad, whose parents left him in the care of his grandmother when he was 3, has never had an identification card, as he could not obtain the necessary supporting documents from his parents to justify his application.
“On top of being denied an education in secondary school and a good job, I also feel like I have been robbed of my rights to many privileges that other Malaysians enjoy,” he said.
However, he has not lost hope. Asked what he aimed to do if he gets an identity card, Lerry said he wants to be able to open a bank account as well as travel.
“I work in a wildlife park here. Each time I receive my salary, I can only keep the money in my bag as I don’t have a bank account. I need documentation to use banking services,” he said.
Lerry was one of the 50 people who came from Penampang and other areas in the interior to sort out their birth registration and citizenship documents at a one-day mobile court programme at Kampung Babah, here.
Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri David Wong Dak Wah, who launched the Urban Mobile Court Programme, said the event was a continuation of an existing programme, in which the court and other agencies go into the state’s interior to help people settle their citizenship documentation.
“This is the second phase (of the existing programme).
“There are many people in the city, but they face the same problems as those in the interior.
“They do not understand the procedures.
“They did not know that they must register the birth of their children within 42 days,” he said, adding there were also cases where locals without documentation were afraid to come forward for fear of being arrested.
Also present were Moyog assemblyman Jennifer Lasimbang and Kapayan state assemblyman Janie Lasimbang.