A significant group of Indian Malaysians comprising mainly of senior citizens staged a peaceful protest at the National Registration Department (NRD) in Ipoh to seek verification for their failed MyKad applications.
Unable to acquire housing or banking loans with the red identification cards, the senior citizens from Perak sought an explanation as to why their applications have been rejected since many of them were born in Malaysia.
Lawyer and PKR vice-president N Surendran was accompanied by deposed Perak menteri besar Nizar Jamaluddin, DAP vice-chairman and Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran, PKR Perak chief Mohd Nor Manuty, PKR central leadership council member Latheefah Koya, PKR state assemblyperson Chang Lih Kang, and DAP state legislator N Sivakumar.
NRD director Alias Mamat had initially only wanted to meet with their representatives but the protesters insisted that he meet all of them.
Alias candidly told the protesters that a bureaucracy is in place and that they would have to fill up the appropriate forms and NRD would deal with individual cases.
He said it would be to provide an explanation to every single person present because the reasoning behind each rejection varies from one individual to another.
A heated debate between Alias, Lateefah Koya and Surendran was caught on video as they argued the justification behind invalidating Malaysian born citizens.
Alias received an unpopular booing from the protesters when he refused to give an acceptable explanation and staged a walk-out.
He was then accused of cowardice for running away from not wanting to answer the questions of the people in Surendran’s address to the 300 people present.
Some of the protesters were heard to be asking why Indonesians who come to work in this country are granted a MyKad and those who are born here are disserviced.
More than 100 red IC holders were said to be facing this plight for numerous reasons. Some had no birth certificates, others were issued a red IC when they went to replace their blue IC and some claimed that they were stripped of their citizenship without an explanation.