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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Groups assist homeless get MyKad fee waiver

Limbo-no-more: The MyKad fee waiver will help those without valid documents get a new lease of life.

Limbo-no-more: The MyKad fee waiver will help those without valid documents get a new lease of life.

KUALA LUMPUR: A coalition of NGOs and a group of lawyers are helping the homeless apply for a waiver to replace their lost MyKad.

Ten homeless individuals and representatives from the coalition gathered at the Pudu Sentral branch of the National Registration Department to submit the mass applications for the fee waiver.

Empower programme officer Wong Kar Fai said the coalition was assisting the homeless individuals because many were unable to directly submit the applications.

“It is their right as citizens to have MyKad, so we want to help them obtain replacements,” he said.

Lawyers for Liberty adviser Latheefa Koya said the homeless individuals existed in a limbo without their MyKad.

“It is illegal not to have one’s MyKad, but they cannot apply for a replacement because they cannot afford the fee.

“We are asking for the fee waiver as the RM110 fee to replace the MyKad is too high for them,” she said.

She said without a valid identification document, the homeless were denied welfare assistance and faced difficulties in securing employment.

“They also face detention if they cannot produce their MyKad when asked by the authorities,” she said.

Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen said the Government should grant the homeless’ request for a fee waiver.

“This is how the Government can show that it is sincere in helping the homeless,” he said.

One homeless individual was given the fee waiver immediately at the NRD branch yesterday because he lost his MyKad in a robbery.

“I was attacked by a few men with wooden sticks,” said the 28-year-old while showing the scars from the attack. The individual, who refused to divulge his name, said he had lost his MyKad four times before.

A Sabahan, only known as Jackson, expressed his happiness at the chance to receive a new MyKad.

“It has been hard to apply for jobs without a MyKad,” said the 34-year-old odd-job worker.

Besides Empower, the coalition is made up of various soup kitchen organisations, Suaram and KL Urban Fellowship.

Tags / Keywords: Family Community , NGOs , identity cards , ICs , homeless , Lawyers for Liberty


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