Monday, September 29, 2008

Elderly woman’s loss of citizenship upsets Barisan members in Sabah - Star

KOTA KINABALU: Sept 29, 2008

An elderly woman has lost her bumiputra status and her citizenship after the National Registration Department discovered flaws in her original documents.

Yong Lee Hua @ Piang Lin, 78, has now been issued a red identity card meant for permanent residents.

The department’s public relations officer, Janisah Mohd Noor, declined to say what the flaws were.

Yong said she lost her blue identity card when her purse was stolen in May last year.

In Sabah, if either one’s parents is a bumiputra, the children will be accorded bumiputra status.

Janisah said the department had discovered anomalies after scrutinising Yong’s records and a detailed probe was being conducted.

It had been reported that department officials had asked Yong, who holds a native certificate issued in 1963, to apply for citizenship after she was given the red identity card.

On Saturday, Parti Upko deputy president Datuk Wilfred Bumburing said the party would review its position in Barisan Nasional if the department failed to rectify its mistake in making Yong a permanent resident.

Bumburing said that taking away the citizenship of bumiputras and forcing them to take permanent resident status displayed incompetence of a department riddled with controversies.

Meanwhile, both Barisan and opposition party officials said the episode was another clear reason why both the state’s National Registration and Immigration departments should be headed by Sabahans.

Parti Bersatu Sabah information chief Johnny Mositun said a Sabahan would be more sensitive to the problems faced by the people in the state.

The Government should look into this issue seriously and rectify any weaknesses to safeguard the interest of Sabahans, said Mositun, who is also the Sabah State Assembly deputy speaker.