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Indian national tells of joining Rela and getting BR1M
Published on: Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Kota Kinabalu: An India-born assistant cook of a restaurant here told the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) Monday that he obtained his Malaysian identity card (IC) within six years of arriving in Sabah in 1984.

He also admitted having voted five times, including during by-elections, and in the recent general election he cast his vote at the Likas Sport Complex, besides collecting the BR1M payments.

Peer Mohamad Kadir, who said he was born in Chennai, India, obtained his Malaysian IC in 1989 with the help of a "pakcik" (uncle) who also helped him in getting a Surat Akuan (Statutory Declaration) the origins of which he did not know.

Admitting that the pakcik did everything for him in registering to get his Malaysian IC at the National Registration Department (NRD) Office in Kota Marudu, he also said he just paid RM20 for stamp duty.

Peer, as he preferred to be called, also told the commissioners headed by Tan Sri Steve Shim he was formerly the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Sabah Indian Muslim Chamber of Commerce and Industry and now still an ordinary member, as well as a member of Ikatan Relawan Rakyat (Rela).

Asked by conducting officer Manoj Kurup why it seemed hard to get him for the hearing process, Peer said he went back to India and had just returned. He went back to India only twice including the latest trip since he arrived in Sabah.

He has two wives - Indian and Indonesian passport holders - with four children and is the holder of a NRD-issued MyKad bearing number 600323-12-5465 and H0484432 being his old IC number.

A check by Manoj on Peer's particulars in the NRD record showed no information on his parents and of him having a birth certificate.

Nevertheless, Peer said all the allegations about him in the Sabahkini news portal, including that he is an illegal immigrant, are not true and that he had lodged a police report on the allegations.

According to Peer, he arrived in Sabah in 1984 aged 20-24 years and came with his "old man" using an Indian passport. He then sold goods at the tamu (weekly bazaar) in Kota Marudu where he heard about that "thing" (Malaysia IC availability) and tried to apply twice but to no avail.

"In 1986 I applied again at the NRD Office in Kota Marudu with the help of a pakcik who did everything for me. I paid RM20 for the stamp duty. I don't know where the Surat Akuan came from," he said.

He also admitted he surrendered his Indian passport. After waiting six years he obtained his Malaysian blue IC in 1989 in which he stated he was born in Kg Bambangan which, when asked by Manoj, he believed was in Kimanis but was not so sure.

When asked why he admitted he was born in Chennai, India, and in his blue IC he was stated as born in Kg Bambangan, Peer was silent and then said it is hard to answer that question.

To another question, he said he changed to a Bunga Raya IC in 1992, which is a replacement for his old IC which he claimed he had lost. He made an application for the new IC at the then NRD headquarters in Wisma Dang Bandang here and was issued first with a temporary IC receipt.

Peer said after he obtained his Bunga Raya IC he used it to vote in the Likas state constituency during elections twice. He also changed his Bunga Raya IC to MyKad which he is currently holding.

"Since 1986 and until now I never had any problem with my IC," he told the commissioners, adding that recently he even received the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) monetary assistance. When asked, he claimed he deserved it.

When questions were repeated to him, Peer admitted he did not have a birth certificate, no information on his parents in the NRD records and had no Sijil Warganegara (Certificate of Citizenship), registered as a voter in the 1990s and voted five times in the elections in Sabah including by-elections.

Asked what would he say if it was proposed to the RCI that his Malaysian IC should be taken back by the Government, he said he does not know. Asked if he agreed that his IC had been issued without going through the proper channel, he said he could not answer that.

The hearing ended with confusion over why in his name in his IC there is a Bin (which in Sabah is commonly used to indicate a person is born as Bumiputera for man/male and also even used for non-Muslim Bumiputera), instead of anak lelaki or a/l as used in names of Malaysian Indian community.

Peer said it is because he is a Muslim Indian and it is common for Muslim Indians, including in India, to have a "Bin".

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