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Monday, November 5, 2012

Sabah’s Bumiputera Christians’ MyKad predicament


Bumiputra Christians in Sabah continue to be “converted to Islam” by the National Registration Department (NRD) simply because they have “bin” and “binti” in their names. Sabah churches are seeking urgent solutions to the crisis but none seems to be in sight, Bob Teoh writes in My Sinchew.

The NRD has made it clear it would continue to list Bumiputera Christians in Sabah as Muslims as long as they are known by bin or binti. It would also not rectify past entry errors by way of changing the religion listing back to Christianity in the identity cards (MyKad) of those affected. The NRD would only act upon an order by a Syariah High Court to determine whether those Bumiputera Christians whom it had listed as Muslims are not Muslims indeed.

Even if these native Christians get a hearing from the Syariah Court, both the NRD and Islamic authorities may not turn up, thus causing unnecessary delays.

A current test case has been mounted by a 53 year-old widow and her two adult daughters and supported by the respective local churches. All three are from the Dusun Banggi tribe.

Intim binti Lambatan, was born in 1959 in Banggi, the northernmost island in Sabah. Her husband died 20 years ago. She was officially baptised in her church, the Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) in Limbuak Darat, in Kudat on mainland Sabah seven years ago and issued a Baptism Certificate.

The SIB is the biggest indigenous protestant church in Sabah. Her elder daughter, Norina binti Nuhudan,28, was baptised when she was 15 while her younger daughter, Listin Nuhudan, 22, was baptised when she was 14. Both are also SIB members.

When all three had their religion wrongly classified as “Islam” in their MyKad, they brought the matter up to their pastors. A Christian lawyer from another SIB church in Kota Kinabalu agreed to take up their case but the lawyer had to engage a Muslim counsel to act on their behalf in the Syariah High Court.

In March last year a Christian lawyer, Victoria Jayaseele Martin, was barred from practising in a Syariah court despite having a Diploma in Syariah Law and Practice from the International Islamic University Malaysia, in addition to a University of London law degree.

The test case was initiated several months ago when Intim went to the Kudat office of the Jabatan Hal Ehwal Agama Islam Negeri Sabah – JHEAINS – or the Sabah Islamic Affairs Department, to clarify the status of her religion.

On 25 July, the department wrote to the Syariah Court in Kudat to say that Intim’s name is not on record in their Pendaftaran Pengislaman (Islamisation Register).

With JHEAINS’s clarification, she made a statutory declaration at the Kudat Magistrate Court stating that she is not a Muslim and that her name is not on the Islamic department’s register. She said she was not originally a Muslim but when she applied for her identity card, the word “Islam” was wrongly recorded on it.

But still the NRD would not rectify its error and issue her a new identity card with her correct status as a Christian. It looks like it is Intim’s responsibility to first go to the Kudat Syariah High Court for a declaration that she is not a Muslim.

This she did by filing a case against the Ketua Pendafter Muallaf (Chief Registrar of New Believers) of Sabah on 14 August. The Director General of the NRD was cited as the second respondent. She is asking for her status as a Muslim to be deleted from her identity card.

The Kudat Syariah High Court then wrote back to the Islamic Department to investigate further whether Intim is a Muslim on their register. The mention date was twice postponed to last Monday (28 Oct). But both the respondents did not turn up, thus causing more delays.

The problem has long reached a crisis in Sabah when SIB churches could not marry their members as some are found to be “Muslims” in their MyKad and the Registrar of Marriages would not recognise such marriages.

Two years ago, the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF), of which SIB is a member, met the NRD Director General and his senior officers. NECF was assured that the problem could easily be resolved be those affected filing in what it called a “Borang A” to change the status of their religion.

The NECF was happy with that assurance and posted an advisory on its website: “Fuss-free way to change religion data in MyKad.”

“Christians who wish to change their religion to Christianity in their MyKad data are not required to tender any legal documents, such as baptism certificates. They only need to fill in ‘Borang A’ to effect the change,” NECF then said.

“This was confirmed at a recent meeting between NECF Malaysia and top officials from the National Registration Department (NRD).”
But NECF itself pointed out the catch. “This is not applicable if they had been registered as Muslims.”

NECF said, at the meeting with NRD officials, it also raised the issue of East Malaysian Christians whose religion in their MyKad is recorded as “Islam” simply because their names carry “bin” and “binti”.

“This is a prevailing problem in Sabah and Sarawak where many indigenous citizens have names that carry bin and binti”. The NRD automatically assigns their religion as ‘Islam’ even though many of them are Christians,” according to NECF.

NECF also said the NRD confirmed that those who are affected could change the data in their MyKad provided they had obtained clearance from the Syariah Court.

52 comments:

  1. I had my first shock in Semenanjung when I was told that the usage of bin/bte is for 'orang berugama Islam' only.
    Sabahans are right when we say that they don't know us. This is a case similar to how local non-Muslim Sabahans used to freely use the term Allah to mean God.
    I like the sound of the old country Sabah of what I was told known as North Borneo. It seems now , a lot of pseudos/fakes going on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. UMNO IS BINNING SABAH IN THE TRASH CAN OF ISLAMISATION!

      Slowly by stages Sabah has been invaded and changed into an intolerant country....

      If you do nothing, you cannot cry and weep when it is too late.

      Take back our country!

      Delete
  2. I myself have 'binti' in my names. don't care much about it as i'm still Christian.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Everyone should have the freedom to chose their own religion.

      Delete
  3. Presiden Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA), Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman berkata, ada pihak tertentu berani tampil untuk mendesak kerajaan supaya menghapuskan keperluan menulis nama Bin Binti, bangsa dan agama ketika orang ramai membuat permohonan sijil kelahiran dan Mykad anak masing-masing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MyKad should display the correct name and religion.

      Delete
  4. Di antara sebab-sebab yang lebih terperinci kenapa Presiden Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA), Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman risau sangat dengan isu ini:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beliau berkata, perkara itu menjadi semakin menakutkan apabila kebanyakan daripada enam juta belia di negara ini termasuk orang Melayu dan beragama Islam kini turut dipengaruhi oleh idea globalisasi serta liberalisasi dipelopori oleh negara Barat.

      Delete
    2. Kesannya anak zina atau zuriat dilahirkan tanpa ikatan perkahwinan mengikut hukum syarak pun boleh didaftarkan secara sah, sekali gus menghancurkan institusi kekeluargaan serta akidah umat Islam di negara ini. – Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman, Presiden Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA).

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    3. Sebenarnya adalah idea ini berasal dari Barat yang kononnya mampu menyelesaikan masalah perbezaan identiti bangsa, keturunan dan agama. Mereka mahu kita keluar dari fitrah manusia atau dengan kata lain tiada lagi status bangsa seperti Melayu, Cina dan India serta agama.

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    4. Penghapusan Bin Binti akan menyebabkan semua orang akan menjadi sama, sekali gus mewujudkan persamaan dan kesamarataan. – menurut perlembagaan, Melayu dan islam diberi keistimewaan, even Prof Aziz Bari pun kata Malaysia bukanlah negara sekular.

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    5. MUNGKIN LA.
      PEROGOL PALING BANYAK BANGSA DAN AGAMA APA.

      Delete
  5. Tiada isu apa pun sebenarnya benda ini. Sebabnya tiada paksaan pun untuk mana-mana rakyat Malaysia meletakkan bin ataupun binti pada kad pengenalan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Letak bin binti “belum tentu Islam”, tetapi orang Islam yang mengamalkan ajaranNya itu lebih dipandang mulia di sisiNya”

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    2. Ada nama binti tidak semestinya Islam.

      Delete
  6. Jikalau disemak kenyataan Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan, penggunaan istilah bin dan binti tidak melibatkan hukum Islam. Ini terbukti apabila terdapat penggunaan bin dan binti dalam masyarakat Kadazan, Dusun yang bukan beragama Islam.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Malah di negara Arab juga, penggunaan bin dan binti tidak tertakluk kepada individu yang beragama Islam. Oleh hal yang demikian itu, isu agama tidak wujud dalam hal ini.

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    2. Bin atau Binti tak semestinya untuk Islam.

      Delete
    3. Harap isu agama tidak akan dikaitkan dalam hal ini.

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    4. Harap isu agama tidak di politikkan.

      Delete
  7. Isu ini tiada kena mengena dengan Islam tetapi lebih kepada soal pengurusan dan pentadbiran sahaja.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lainlah kalau memang ianya undang undang negara termaktub dalam perlembagaan negara. Ia lebih kepada HAK INDIVIDU..sebab nama ialah hak masing masing. Kalau nak letak Bin/Binti, letak…..kalau tidak mahu letak, terpulang.

      Delete
    2. Pihak NRD perlu menjelaskan semua tu

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    3. Pihak JPN perlulah merombak sistem pendaftaran dan pengurusan mereka.

      Delete
    4. Terpulang kepada individu..sama ada mau menggunakannya atau tidak.

      Delete
  8. pasal Bin pun nak jadi isu.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bin & Binti orang tu belum tentu Islam

      Delete
  9. Pembangkang kalau mahu jadikan isu, soal Bin dan Binti pun boleh jadi isu. Dari dulu lagi semua tu. Kenapa sekarang baru mahu bising2.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pembangkang jangan bangkitkan isu agama, sensitif sikit.

      Delete
  10. Bahan publisiti pembangkang. semua pun boleh jadi isu panas.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Pihak NRD perlu lebih berhati-hati

    ReplyDelete
  12. Well the government will have to look into this issue to avoid future problems amongst others.

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  13. It doesn't matter what you choose.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I guess everyone has freedom of chose in this.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hold on to your faith regardless of any circumstance surrounding you.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Should MyKad display the correct religion?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Bapa saya langsung TIDAK PERNAH pergi sekolah, tapi kami adik-beradik tiada 'Bin' atau 'Binti'..........

    Orang yang fikirannya tajam tidak semestinya lulusan universiti!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Komen anda 'vague' at best. Berterima kasih kepada kakitangan 'berinformasi' yang bertugas semasa bapa anda mendaftar kelahiran kamu adik-beradik.

      Kedua-dua ibubapa saya mempunyai bin/binti ketika masih hidup walaupun tidak tergolong. Saya berpendapat bahawa ketika ayah saya mendaftar kami adik-beradik mungkin sudah diterbitkan satu jadual senarai-semak untuk maksud nama.

      Delete
  18. AKu Melayu ada BIN anak2 AKu BINTI pun ada. Tapi Aku Bebas Beragama dan Aku Kristian. Aku Melayu Singapura . Melayu tak semestinya Islam.

    ReplyDelete
  19. BTE adalah singkatan untuk B=Belong, T=To dan E=Eve. Ini kerana pada pandangan masyarakat Barat di Eropah dulu, wanita itu adalah keturunan Eve @ Hawa iaitu isteri kepada manusia pertama Adam.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Singkatan ini kemudiannya dirasakan tidak begitu sesuai dengan pandangan mas
      yarakat di Nusantara dan kemudiannya digantikan dengan "BINTI".

      Delete
    2. BIN adalah B= Belong, I=In dan N=Name (merujuk kpd nama keturunan keluarga) dan BINTI pula adalah B=Belong, I=In, N=Name, T=To dan I=Initial (ini kerana bagi wanita mereka sekali saja dapat menggunakan nama keluarga mereka, selapas itu anak2 mereka akan menggunakan nama keluarga bagi suami mereka).

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    3. Ini adalah warisan kita dari zaman pemerintahan British dulu dan ianya tiada kaitan dgn agama Islam.

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    4. Ini siapapun boleh menggunakannya TETAPI para pagawai di Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara yang tidak tahu sejarah asal usul penggunaan BIN, BINTI dan BTE itu telah mengatakan bahawa ianya menunjukkan seseorang itu penganut agama Islam. Sepatutnya tanggapan SALAH tentang perkara ini perlu diperbetulkan oleh pihak yang berkuasa..

      Delete
  20. There is a need to set in place additional precautionary measures to prevent immigrants from acquiring Malaysian citizenship.



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  21. Although certain mechanisms were already in place, the NRD still needs to be extra careful to ensure that illegal immigrants are not mistakenly registered as locals and given Malaysian birth certificates and identity cards (ICs).

    ReplyDelete
  22. The relevant authorities to be extra careful in registering the birth certificates and identity documents, so that they do not fall into the wrong hands especially illegal immigrants, as this could jeapordise the country’s sovereignty and future.

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  23. There were rules in place under the Federal Constitution for foreigners to get their citizenship and NRD must ensure that everyone abides by this.If there is any truth that these immigrants are able to get the Malaysian identity cards and claim their citizenship that way, to me personally, it is not the right way. Hopefully with the high-tech mechanisms that they mentioned, NRD will be able to properly screen them.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Amongst the requirements of the Federal Constitution, one must reside in this country for a certain period of time, be fluent in the Malay language and the cultures of the country and take an oath before they can be granted citizenship, not simply impersonating as a local.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Although illegal immigrants may try, mechanisms are in place to ensure they do not get registered for birth certificates or ICs at mobile registration drives carried out by the National Registration Department (NRD) in rural areas.

    ReplyDelete
  26. For locals who have no documents due to factors such as lack of awareness and living too far from the city, NRD will issue a green birth certificate (original Malaysian birth certificate).

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  27. NRD issue these documents to legal foreigners so that they can go to their embassy or consulate to get their passports done, whereas for our locals, we have to help them get their identification documents done so that they can go to school and so on.

    ReplyDelete