KUCHING, Jan 22: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing hopes that the National Registration Department (NRD) will not automatically categorise those using the terms ‘bin’ or ‘binti’ instead of ‘anak’ as Muslims as there are some ethnic groups in Sarawak who use such terms are actually non-Muslims.
As such, he called on the NRD to rectify such assumptions and assist those which it has unintentionally wronged.
“A few ethnic groups in Sarawak use the terms ‘bin’ or ‘binti’ instead of ‘anak’ in their names. The usage of these terms ‘bin’ or ‘bin’ do not and should not categorise them simply as Muslim. NRD must understand this.
“If NRD makes such mistake by categorising them as Muslims then they must make amend to such error quickly without much fuss,” Masing said in a statement issued here today.
Masing, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, said he was pleased to note that Suhakam via its Sarawak commissioner Datuk Dr Madeline Berma has brought up this issue.
“It’s my hope that the relevant authorities will take note,” added Masing.
Yesterday, Suhakam Sarawak Office had issued a statement that it had received complaints from indigenous communities who wanted to change the religious status on their new MyKad.
In highlighting the issue, Madeline disclosed that there were instances that non-Muslim applicants who never professed and practised Islam were ‘administratively converted’ to ‘Islam’ and officially stated in their new MyKad, due to those applicants having ‘bin or ‘binti’ in their MyKad.
She said such a situation had complicated the process of issuance of other important documents.
Additionally, she noted that they also faced delays and bureaucratic red tapes in their efforts to apply for the correction of mistakes or make changes in their identity card.
On the same note, she said there were cases of school children who were forced to wear baju kurung and tudung just because it is stated in their MyKid that they are Muslims.
Madeline said these children must also attend Islamic religious classes at the primary and secondary school levels when in the reality, these children have never practice Islamic teachings from their early age.
She noted that such a problem usually stems from cases of divorce between couples who were converted and professed Islam for marriage purposes and the children born out of such marriages were registered as Muslims.
But when such marriages failed, the converted spouse opted out and requested for a change in their religious status in MyKad and the religious status of their children in MyKid choice.
And in such cases, the children who followed their non-Muslim parent would end up as victims of such circumstances. — DayakDaily