The Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) exposed several bosses of the National Registration Department in the past, which resulted in a few of them being arrested and charged for abetting and being involved in the issuing of Malaysian MyKads fraudulently to illegal immigrants in Sabah.
It appears there is virtually zero chance of getting a Malaysian citizenship if you are a genuine local and can prove it – more so if your application is supported by a Sabah Deputy Chief Minister!
Terminally ill Rita Joan Thomson (pic), 80, who is of mixed Bajau native from Bongawan Papar,had no less than two Deputy Chief Ministers that supported her application for a Malaysian MyKad – Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan and Datuk Ariah Tengku Ahmad. Their signatures apparently did not carry sufficient weight at all.
Rita however admitted that she doesn’t possess a birth certificate because that was before World War Two. But many of her contemporaries can vouch for the fact that North Borneo (now Sabah) is her birthplace.
“By right, I am a natural-born citizen of Malaysia but strangely enough, I was made a permanent resident (PR) when I applied for a MyKad (Citizen) years ago. Initially, I had a KPP with the Number H6010990 (which had since been surrendered to the NRD).
“I am now having a MyKad (Permanent Resident status) with the Number 370612-12-5022. I hope to be given citizenship status before I finally close my eyes,” she said, at the residence of former PBS Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Ariah Tengku Ahmad.
Ariah, 78, and Thomson, 79, were schoolmates at St Francis Convent Secondary School after the Second World War.
Rita, apparently had exhausted all avenues and wants the whole world to know her story and her predicament. “All my queries have drawn a blank,” she related her predicament to Daily Express.
What is more disparaging is that she was even relegated to the status of a stateless person as indicated in her old passport dating back to the 1990s.
“By the time the authorities wanted my husband to come personally to the department concerned to verify my status as a native of Sabah, he was hooked to a life support system,” she said. He passed away in March 2010. Rita was married to former Sabah Director of Civil Aviation, Thomas Humphrey Paglar
Rita was later issued with a MyKad (Permanent Resident status), instead of a MyKad (Citizen status).
Following her complaint to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Sabah Branch) in June 2012 and its ensuing correspondence with the State National Registration Department (NRD), Rita was advised by the NRD to apply for citizenship status under Section 15(1) or 19(1).
Subsequently, Ariah, Pairin, senior lawyer Datuk James Ghani and Mohamed Shariff Manjaji, among others, supported Rita’s application for Malaysian citizenship.
In a letter to the Sabah NRD, dated September 27, 2012, Director of the State Native Affairs Office (under the Ministry of Local Government and Housing), Datuk Hj Ag. Sharin Alimin, informed that the Confirmation Committee had confirmed that Rita is really a Sabah Bumiputera because her mother, the late Limah Bte Awang was of Bajau descent.
The NRD office in Kota Kinabalu acknowledged having received Rita’s application on March 14, 2013 but was required to attend a Bahasa Melayu Test/Interview at the NRD’s office in Kota Kinabalu on March 21, 2013. The application was believed to have been forwarded to the NRD National Headquarters in Putrajaya (based on a chop on an official receipt in acknowledgement of her application and copies of relevant documents).
“I notice there are two different dates on the receipt – March 23, 2013 and January 27, 2014.
So I don’t exactly know when my application was submitted to Putrajaya,” she said. The receipt also stated that the outcome of her application will be issued before December 31, 2014, but that was the end of the story.
“For inquiries, I was asked to contact NRD’s Citizenship Division, in Kota Kinabalu at 088-488361/307/366.
Whenever I called, I was passed from one line to another and, eventually, nobody talked to me at the other end.
“On one occasion, I was even asked to call KL because only KL has the power to issue the citizenship certificate, according to a NRD official (who spoke to me). As a senior Sabah-born citizen, I am really fed-up being treated like this.”
Last month (February), a friend helped her to check the status of her application via the computer system.
“To my surprise, the reply in a computer printout was Tiada permohonan terkini. I am at a loss for words.
What do they mean by that?” she asked. “What happened to my earlier application? What was clearly chopped on the receipt for that application was Keputusan Permohonan Tuan/Puan Akan Dikeluarkan Sebelum 31/12/2014?
I have been waiting all this while but to no avail.”