Father regrets registering births illegally


  • Nation
  • Friday, 28 Feb 2003

BY A. LETCHUMANAN

PETALING JAYA: Odd-job worker R. Rajakumaran is regretting his “spur of the moment” decision to use an identity card (IC) which he had found to register the birth of his eldest son 10 years ago. 

After the first time, he also used that IC to register the births of his other three children. 

“I know it is an offence, but I was in a predicament as I had no documents and wanted to ensure that my children did not suffer a similar fate,” he said. 

Rajakumaran, 32, said he had been having sleepless nights as his children – Prakash, 10, Poobalan, nine, Saraswathi, seven, and Sasidaran, five – carried the name of another person instead as their father's name. 

“I am prepared to go to jail for the offence but I am worried about my children. I hope the authorities will be lenient with my case,” he said when MIC Youth Social and Welfare Bureau Committee chairman T. Mohan visited him recently at his home in Kampung Sri Puchong. 

RIGHT WAY: Rangsamy (left) and his sons Rajakumaran (second from left) and Parameswaran (right) showing some documents to MIC Youth representative T. Mohan in their house Thursday.

Rajakumaran said he had paid RM3,000 to some people who claimed to have connections with the National Registration Department to make the necessary changes three years ago but nothing had been done. 

“These people had disappeared. I think they were after the money as they knew of my problems,” he said at his house where he lives with his children, father S. Rangasamy, 56, mother Anjalai Pakiry, 53, and brother Parameswaran, 22. 

Rajakumaran said his father arrived in Malaysia in 1960 and had worked in several estates in Johor, Pahang and Selangor. 

“My father is illiterate and did not bother to obtain his citizenship or other documents. He had also lost his passport and never attempted to register the births of his five children,” he said, adding that his eldest brother, Ayakanoo, had been adopted by a Chinese family in Johor. 

Rajakumaran is also responsible for bringing up his children as his wife, Elizabeth Arokiasamy, was killed after being struck by lightning in May 2001. 

“Three of my children are studying in a Tamil school as I want them to have some education. I am illiterate but I don’t want them to be like me,” he said. 

Mohan said the bureau had taken the family to the department to help them get proper documents. 

“We managed to get a red identity card for Anjalai, but we need someone to certify that he has known Rangasamy for 25 years or more before the applications for the others can be processed. 

“They have been moving frequently from one place to another and it is quite difficult to fulfil that condition,” he said. 

The bureau, he added, would be appealing to the Home Ministry to look into this family’s predicament. 

Mohan said the bureau had handled about 100 cases involving Indians without documents in the Klang Valley over the past few months. 

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Chor Chee Hueng, when contacted, said it was an offence to use another person’s IC and Rajakumaran would have to face the consequences. 

“However, we could consider their applications for proper documents if there are extenuating circumstances. I will try and assist them,” he added.  

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