Father’s mistake leads to seven children without birth certs

Front row - from left Amirul Iman, Fatimah Sulaiman, Md Sani Pannot, Amirul Hakimi, Nurul Amira - back row standing from left to right - Nurul Hapisah, Nurul Fatihah, Amirul Asyraf and Nurul Anisa.

PASIR GUDANG: A father of seven finally admits that his ignorance has led six of his seven children being “stateless” without birth certificates and MyKad.

Md Sani Pannot, 47, said this all started 20 years ago when he kept on delaying registering his marriage to Fatimah Sulaiman, 49, with the Johor Islamic Religious Department. (JAIJ)

The couple underwent their solemnisation ceremony in Southern Thailand on August 23, 1994, when Md Sani was 27, and Fatimah, 29.

“Now, my children have to pay the price for my mistake and I’m worried about their future,” he said between sobs during a press conference at the Permas Public Complaints Centre here recently.

Except for his eldest child Nurul Amira Abdullah, 20, who has a birth certificate, the other children did not have the birth certificates despite being born at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital Johor Baru.

They are Nurul Hapisah, 18, Nurul Fatihah, 15, Amirul Asyraf, 13, Nurul Anisa, nine, Amirul Iman, seven and Amirul Hakimi, six.

Md Sani said they managed to register Nurul Amira’s who was born on Sept 24, 1994, as he was able to produce the sijil nikah (certificate) issued at Southern Thailand to the National Registration Department (NRD).

“The problem started when officers from the Religious Department came to our house in somewhere February 1996 and confiscated our sijil nikah,” he said.

Md Sani claimed that the officers took away the certificate after JAIJ received complaints from residents of Kampung Maju Jaya Skudai that the couples were co-habiting.

He alleged he did not know that he had to register his marriage with JAIJ upon returning to Johor as the kadhi who performed the solemnisation assured him that the marriage certificate was recognised in Malaysia.

Except for Nurul Amira who studied until Year Four and now working as a food stall assistance, all his other children did not go to school as they did not have birth certificates.

“I hope that the relevant authorities will come forward and solve my problems as my wife and me are worried what is going to happen to our children,” said Md Sani.

Md Sani works as a security guard earning RM800 monthly while Fatimah is a school canteen assistant bringing home about RM900.

Permas Public Complaints Centre supervisor Syed Othman Syed Abdullah said all the children were born in Johor and each of them has the health records with the hospital.

Meanwhile, an official with the Johor NRD said officers from the department would visit the family most probably next month to record their statements and process their applications.

The official explained that all the children have Abdullah behind their names instead of Md Sani as their father as he failed to register his marriage in Johor.

“The couple has to register their marriage with MAIJ, upon receiving their marriage certificate only then we can issue the birth certificates to their children,” said the official.

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