The call by former Chief Minister of Sabah, Datuk Salleh Said Keruak to appoint a Sabahan to head the National Registration Department (NRD) in the state is apt. He cites the unhappiness of Sabahans over the way the NRD handled the plight of 78 years old Sino-Kadazan women who had lost her Blue Identity Card last year, and was subsequently replaced by a Red Identity Card, thus reducing her to a Permanent Resident status.
To add to the seriousness of the case, UPKO Deputy President, Datuk Wilfred Bumburing had even threatened to review the party's position in BN, if the error is not rectified immediately.
With regards to the case above, I am of the opinion that the BN should not be wholly blamed, but rather the individual NRD officer who had handled the case, should bear the burden of his or her mistakes. Hence, Datuk Wilfred's action is wrong and deemed improper, and that his action does not augur well for federal – state relations.
What is evidently clear is that, this is a case of outright negligence by a government official, which has brought disrepute to the department. I find it strange that such an error could occur in a department where computer systems are now being used extensively to store personal datas of citizens, and can be retrieved by a mere click of the computer board. One don't even need to remember the IC number, but just a name would suffice. And didn't the old women have other personal documents to prove, example,birth certificate, bank card, phone bills or even a driving license? I therefore find it hard to believe that the NRD official could make a mistake, or was he or she too damn stupid to do the job properly.
Sabah to me is such a wonderful place to work, and I have served the state on four different occasions; the last being in 1991/92 in Kota Kinabalu. During that time, the state was governed by the opposition PBS government headed by Datuk Pairin Kitingan. I have been invited to attend several state meeting, and despite me being a military officer, and a federal officer for that matter, I have no problems making friends with state politicians (despite them being an opposition government), and state government officers, who are fully qualified to head state departments. Neither did they left me out from attending state official functions. I was always welcomed, so to speak.
I now believe that Sabahan are well prepared, ready and qualified to head federal departments in the state, and the NRD is no exception. It is for this reason that I fully support Datuk Salleh Said Keruak's call to place a Sabahan to head the NRD, and other federal department as well.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION