NRD: The a/l and a/p not a must in ICs


NRD: The a/l and a/p not a must in ICs
16 Jul 2006
By Sarban Singh

PUTRAJAYA: It is not compulsory for Malaysians to use the prefix a/l (anak lelaki) or a/p (anak perempuan) in their identity cards.

Muslims are also not compelled to use bin or binti in their names.

Sabah and Sarawaks non-Muslim natives, who traditionally use bin or binti, also have the option of dropping it.

The National Registration Department (NRD) made this clarification following complaints from the public that its officers were insisting on the usage.

“It is really up to Malaysians now. They can decide whether or not they want the prefixes added to their names,” said NRD spokeswoman Jainisah Mohd Noor.

The New Sunday Times had in recent weeks been receiving calls from members of the public on the use of a/l, a/p, bin or binti.

The confusion arose following conflicting statements made by the authorities.

A June 1998, NRD circular had stated that a childs name should be registered in full with the NRD.

This means their names in the NRD records would carry a/l, a/p, bin or binti.

For Muslim babies whose fathers names are not available, they should use bin Abdullah or binti Asma Al Husna. (Or they can also use the other 99 names of Allah.)

Names in birth certificates too need not carry the prefixes if parents do not want it.

This means when the children are later issued the MyKad at age 12, their names would not have a/l, a/p, bin or binti.

If they do not remove this one year after the birth of the child, the MyKad issued to the child at the age 12 would have it.

Parents can still remove the a/l, a/p, bin or binti, but they would have to pay a RM10 fee for the card replacement.

However, in August 2003, then Deputy Home Minister Datuk Zainal Abidin Zin said such a move could result in complications.

“We have made careful consideration and decided to keep the old system of identifying our rakyat. It is really for the convenience of the Government,” he said.

But Malaysians are unhappy that they need to apply to have the prefixes removed.

They say that since the Government had done away with the use of prefixes in Malaysian international passports since June 2001, they see no reason why it cannot apply to the MyKad.

The passport ruling was abolished as the chip-based passports could not read the punctuation signs (/) and Malaysians with bin or binti to their names were being mistaken for Arabs.

Jainisah said since the NRD did not receive any directive, Malaysians could decide whether or not they wanted the prefix to their name.

“There is no confusion here. We hope the public is clear on the ruling.”

Jainisah said those who wanted to remove the prefixes from the MyKad must submit a statutory declaration to enable the NRD to effect the change.

What they say…

Jaspal Singh (Businessman)

IT is not that he is not proud of his father, but Jaspal Singh is puzzled why he has to carry his fathers name in his identity card and other documents.

“There are so many ways to identify me,” says Jaspal.

“There is the MyKad, the old identity card number, the EPF, income tax and Socso file numbers, bank and credit card numbers, car ownership registration, etc.”

Jaspal dismisses arguments that a/l, a/p, bin and binti are a must to enable the authorities to determine the sex of the card holder.

“You dont need that because one can determine this from the last digit in the MyKad. It is as simple as that.”

Professor Emeritus Datuk Khoo Kay Kim (Historian)

THE son of (a/l) and daughter of (a/p) system was introduced by the British for the Indian community because they had no surnames.

But since then, some Indians have begun using surnames, such as the village they hail from or the names of their clan.

For Sikhs, it is also easy to determine their sex as they are either Singh (male) or Kaur (female). Some even use family names like Gill, Sidhu and Nijhar.

The Chinese do not have this “prefix” problem. They must use their surnames as families are perpetuated by males. This is their culture.

These days, some Indian and Muslim women have begun using their husbands names as their surnames. This can be confusing. The NRD may want to look at this and see if the system could be streamlined.

C. Sathasivam (Manager)

MY full name is C. Sathsivam a/l Sitheravellu.

I dont see a reason why the a/l or a/p, or anak system should still be used.

When I received an award for the best athlete in school from the then Education Minister Datuk Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the national schools meet in 1974 in Kuantan, my name on the trophy was so long that my friends made fun of it.

Datuk Abdul Rahman Manan (Veteran unionist)

TIMES are changing. And with it, procedures have to be simplified.

We have people, including Muslims, using surnames now.

Although this is personal, there should be a clear ruling on this as some people may be ignorant of the consequences.

People should be allowed to drop the use of prefixes.

Maybe these were necessary decades ago but today, we have many ways to identify people. The MyKad is one example.

Prefixes can be confusing and cumbersome. Some people who had been bestowed with titles such as Tan Sri and Datuk never incorporate this in their MyKad but people know that they have these titles.

The rigid procedures for one to do away with the prefixes should be abolished. Why do you require a statutory declaration and all the unnecessary trips to the NRD?

Lim Kim Seng(General manager)

THE Chinese, especially those who studied in vernacular schools, can easily tell the sex of another Chinese from their names. But Malaysians of other races may find this a problem.

Having surnames may not necessarily help others to determine your sex or historical background. But since identification numbers in our MyKads are quite detailed, it is time we do away with the prefixes.

Malaysians shouldnt be made to go through the bureaucratic hassle of having to submit a declaration to have the prefixes removed.