Ragu, Rajeswari and the list goes on?

Issue Ragu temporary IC before Hari Raya, says Sultan!

By Ivan Loh. The Star. 25.9.08

IPOH: The Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah has ordered the National Registration Department (NRD) to issue a temporary identity card to R. Ragu, who had tried to seek the Sultan’s help to apply for a MyKad.Perak executive councillor A. Sivanesan said the NRD must give Ragu, 33, the temporary identity card before the Hari Raya celebrations.

”They will have to issue the temporary identity card by Monday or Tuesday as ordered by the Tuanku,” said Sivanesan. ”He was very sympathetic towards Ragu and said that this (Ragu’s problem) should not have happened,” he told reporters Friday outside the Istana Kinta after meeting with the Sultan here.

Sivanesan said Ragu would need to get his temporary identity card first and apply for the MyKad later. ”I will try my best to help him with his application to get his citizenship,” he added. Ragu, who was also outside Istana Kinta here, said he was still unhappy as he had yet to obtain his citizenship.

He said the temporary identity card was for people like the Bangladeshis and Vietnamese. ”I’m a Malaysian citizen, why can't I get citizenship like anyone else,” he added. Odd job worker Ragu has been carrying a temporary identity card since 1998 because he was unable to obtain a permanent identity card.

He was abandoned by his parents at the age of four in Parit Buntar and had been under the Social Welfare Department’s care until he was 16. When he gets the temporary identity card, Ragu will need to renew it annually.

In 2004, he had his temporary identity card revoked by the National Registration Department without any reason given. He has not been able to get a job to support his family of four and has since travelled across the country with his family to appeal to the NRD to issue him with a MyKad.


The interesting fact is Ragu had been under the care of Social Welfare Department until the age of 16. Subsequently he had been issued with temporary identity card which he had been renewing every year until NRD revoked it in 2004.

It’s very appalling as issues of this nature which involves basic rights of citizens seem to be affecting Malaysians of Indians origin more often than anyone else. Not long ago M.Rajeswari age 22, who was six months pregnant, was arrested in Brick Fields, Kuala Lumpur. She was detained for 11 months because the authority disbelieved her story and thought she was a Sri Lankan woman. She had to go through the antagonizing period of 11 months in which time she gave birth to her baby. If not for the timely help of an unnamed nurse and MIYC’s vice president Andrew Raju, Rajeswari would have been thrown out of Malaysia.

In both cases, the authorities involved were negligent, unprofessional and lackadaisical. They did not show any willingness to help these affected Indians. Why is this so? Is there any prejudice in this case? Or could we say this is one reason why Hindraf was born?

Not everyone out there could be Ragu nor every Rajeswari could meet a good Samaritan staff to help them out. Simply asking someone to get a certification from Sultans and ministers is nothing but a pathetic excuse to deny ordinary people’s basic rights, all in the name of requirements and procedures by unscrupulous officers whom I would regard as inhumane.

It is not suffice to propagate “I’m PM for all or I’m leader for all Malaysians. It’s time for leaders to prove to their citizens they truly care for all Malaysians. And they need to walk the talk so that the civil servants could be more caring toward all Malaysians regardless of their ethnical back ground.