Kota Kinabalu: In the event of a mixed marriage between a Muslim and a non-Muslim, the child born will follow the mother’s religion and this will be stated accordingly in the child’s birth certificate, said Sabah National Registration Department (NRD) Director, Hj Abd Jaffear bin Henry.

He said many problems relating to this aspect were encountered in the interior due to lack of awareness.

“Under Section 9 of the Sabah Ordinance, Cap. 123 (On Births and Deaths Registration), a birth must be registered within 42 days from the date of birth. On the 43rd day, it is considered late registration.

“Don’t postpone the registration of birth just because of religion.

The religion of the parent who claims to be a Muslim can be verified later if necessary,” he said during a dialogue with lawyer Christina Liew who acted on behalf of 162 problematic MyKad holders, mainly from the interior of Sabah.

However, Jaffear made it clear that a mixed marriage will not be registered by JPN if one of the partners is a Muslim. “This has to be referred to and clarified by the Syariah Court.”

Liew thanked Jaffear for his understanding and co-operation.

“I am satisfied with the outcome of the meeting. Being a Sabahan, he fully understands local conditions and only a Sabahan will understand the rakyat’s problem.

“The Director has enlightened us on a number of issues, and now the community leaders can go back to their respective kampungs in the interior and explain what they have heard this morning.

“They are now clear on the ‘religious status’ verification procedure and registration of births.

I think a lot of other MyKad holders are facing a similar problem. If it is not rectified, it will have a longstanding implication on their children from birth to death,” she pointed out.

The JPN Office in Tongod is located in the District Office and the department has a Tungku Branch in Lahad Datu (Tel. 089-812959).

Kota Marudu (088-661562), Telupid (089-521726), Beluran (089-512737), Kunak (089-851941), Kinabatangan (089-561927) and Pitas (088-622836).

Source: Daily Express

***