Thursday August 30, 2007
More than just a card
How many of us truly understand the significance of carrying our IC? National Registration Department Director-General Datuk Abdul Halim Muhammad speaks on how the IC has evolved in our country and the exciting plans ahead for the agency.
BY LEOW YONG MAY
THE recent case of the 19-year-old Sabahan who spent six months in jail for an identity card offence not only shook up the community, but created an awareness that the IC must be carried around at all times by everyone, young and old.
The law is clear – individuals caught without their MyKad can be fined between RM3,000 and RM20,000.
The Government wants the people to carry the MyKad because of the increasing problems related to illegal immigrants.
In a situation where a person’s identity is to be verified, MyKad can be used as proof.
“It is therefore not advisable to carry a photocopy of your original IC around because it isn’t valid. Only a genuine IC will be able to identify the person,” says Jainisah Mohd Noor, the NRD’s public relations officer.
Easier and faster
Director-General Datuk Abdul Halim Muhammad said the process of getting a MyKad is very simple these days.
“Gone are the days when you have to wait for days or weeks. Members of the public can now obtain their MyKad within one working day. All one needs to do is to hand in the application form and relevant documents at the NRD headquarters and it will be processed within 24 hours.
“But if you apply at the nearest NRD branch, it would take 10 days for a card to be issued. At present, the 210 branches located around the country are responsible for providing replacement cards, amendments of particulars, defective ICs, and for first-time applicants.
“There is no need to lodge a police report whenever one has misplaced or lost the MyKad. Just head over to the headquarters in Putrajaya and apply for a new one,” says Abdul Halim.
“Our policy is to make the process as simple as possible.”
According to Abdul Hamid, the head office is capable of handling 500 applications a day.
However, the Director-General says despite the efficiency, a major problem is still with uncollected MyKads.
“People should be aware that a lot of money is wasted when we have to destroy MyKads that are not collected within two years,” says Abdul Hamid.
The NRD’s long-term vision, which the department hopes to realise within the next 10 years, is to be able to issue MyKad in an instant.
This “Wait & Return” project will expedite the application process, allowing the individual to have his or her MyKad right away. The NRD started a pilot project in Malacca last March.
When the system is implemented, it should take approximately two hours for the card to be processed.
There are still some 300,000 citizens who have yet to change their ICs to the MyKad, The NRD has, therefore, set up Mobile MyKad Units to assist those who are unable to go to the branches or headquarters to apply for the card.
According to Abdul Hamid, members of the public who have not switched to MyKad are mostly elderly folks, mental patients, drug addicts in rehabilitation centres, as well as the aborigines living in the remote areas.
The mobile units are most active in Sabah and Sarawak.
Just for kids
Since March 2003, the NRD has started issuing cards to children under the age of 12 years, called MyKid. MyKid is also a chip-based identity card similar to MyKad. MyKid, however, does not include a photograph and fingerprints. The identification number on MyKid can be used for all official matters, from birth to death. The card contains three main applications inside its chip:
What’s in a name?