NRD Sabah cannot ‘drop’ Islam in MyKad

Joe Fernandez

NRD Sabah advises a “Christian” woman to seek a Syariah Court order to delete Islam from her MyKad.

KOTA KINABALU: The National Registration Department (NRD) Sabah has no power to amend details on religion in a person’s Islam MyKad.
NRD Sabah director Ismail Ahmad, who confirmed this, said that a Syariah Court order was necessary to delete the word Islam from a MyKad. “We have amended several Islam MyKads after a Syariah Court order was produced,” he said. “We have no power to delete Islam from a MyKad without a Syariah Court order.”
He was commenting on the sidelines of meeting a Julitah Bahiau, 47, who wants Islam dropped from her MyKad.
Julitah was accompanied by Karanaan Assemblyman Masidi Manjun and his political secretary, Amisah Yassin.
Ismail, in an earlier statement in the media, advised Julitah to deal with the Sabah Islamic Religious Department (JHEAINS) on the matter.
According to NRD Sabah records, Julitah’s parents became Muslim in Ranau, during a mass conversion ceremony conducted during the time of the Usno government (1966-1976).
In October 1988, according to NRD Sabah records, the Majlis Ugama Islam Sabah (MUIS) told the department that Julitah was Muslim.
Julitiah is the seventh child in a family of nine children. Except for her and the eighth, all her siblings are listed as Christian in their MyKads. She was baptised in 2002, said Julitah.
According to background details made available by Julitah to the local media, MUIS could not find her name in their system in 2003 as Muslim. However, in 2013, MUIS entered her name in its system as “mualaf” (convert).
By that time, she had married a Catholic, and had six children. Except for one, the others did not have problems having Christian listed in their documents.
Apparently, the birth certificate of her youngest child Aryton Verlando, 7, has been witheld by NRD Sabah. Earlier, she declined to accept his birth certificate which listed him as Muslim.
Without a birth certificate, he cannot be in school.
Momogun National Congress (MNC) president Henrynus Amin said the “doubtful” cases can be traced back to purportedly “mass conversion” ceremonies held in Ranau during the time of two chief Ministers, Mustapha Harun of Usno and Harris Salleh (1976-1985) during the Berjaya Government.
“These are the Christians who have the word Islam in their MyKads,” said Henrynus. “Our focus is to help those who have Islam MyKads but are not Muslim.”

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