Saturday, July 08, 2006

MyKad! My Goodness! - - updated 11 July 06

A very apt graphic from a local newspaper.

Hmmm, it seems that the Einsteins in our government think that Malaysians should be fined more heavily for forgetting to carry our MyKads, than if we say, confine slaves and kidnap victims in our basement... or if we blow up a bomb by mistake.

Oh well, the next time I imprison people in my HDB flat or make a home-made nuclear bomb, I'll make sure I have my MyKad. At least the jail time is less.

The Star reported that the National Registration Department advised Malaysians to have their MyKad with them at all times, and warned that if they were caught without it, they could face a fine of between RM3,000 and RM20,000 or jail term of up to three years.

I understand that the MyKad is essential to prove who you are to the authorities. But I think the fines are much too harsh. The jail term is ridiculous.

Let's step back and look at it. What are we trying to achieve here?

Are we trying to make sure that Malaysians are immediately identifiable in a country with 3 million illegal foreigners? That each person's identity is immediately known if an emergency arises or a crime is committed?

Or do we just want people to carry the MyKad, just because it's the MyKad?

I mean, if I have my passport with me or my driving licence, is there a problem identifying who I am? While I think it's okay to make it mandatory to carry the MyKad, I do think that certain concessions need to be given if other forms of original identification are carried. If you're really tight arsed about it, then allow that person to come to the nearest police station later and produce their MyKad. If you've checked his passport or driving licence, you already know who they are. What's the big deal about giving them a bit of time to go home and get their MyKad?

The issue of photocopies is a bit more difficult. Photocopies are notoriously simple to forge. Stick your photo on top of somebody elses MyKad and photocopy. And voila, it looks like a very good copy. I believe that photocopies cannot be used in lieu of original identification documents. Can I photocopy the bank notes I have at home and use it to buy some stuff first? I'll bring the originals later!

And there's one thing I'd like to know. What's the fine for carrying a MyKad if you're not Malaysian?

Isn't the NRD's larger responsibility making sure the illegals don't get MyKads, rather than fining citizens for not carrying it?

Isn't Immigration dept's prime duty to expel all illegal aliens from Malaysia and stop the ones that are not here yet from entering?

Therefore, if the NRD and immigration were doing their jobs properly, wouldn't that mean that everyone in Malaysia, would be in Malaysia legally? And that would make carrying MyKad on the street at all time to prove who you are to groups of marauding police, immigration and NRD officials much less important, wouldn't it?

Are the Malaysian public again being penalised by stopgap, firefighting measures so often taken by govt depts when they realise that they are too incompetent to do their primary jobs?

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