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Reissuing ICs 'too complicated'
Published on: Friday, August 10, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong said it would be too complicated to recall and reissue identification cards (ICs).

He said some political parties in the State have been pushing for the issuance of Sabah ICs.

"I think if we (Sabah) start talking about it, other states will also be asking for their own ICs, like ICs for Sarawak and ICs for the other states in Malaya, which would then be too complicated," he said.

He said this when met after witnessing the handing over of the new Kota Kinabalu Court Complex from the Federal Government to the State judiciary at Bukit Punai, here, Thursday.

"What we can do now is to look into the issue as to how we can identify the various people here who probably made out of the people who do not have ICs.

"We have to come up with a formula on how we can resolve the issue of identifying whether you are Sabahans or illegal immigrants."

On Thursday, United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) reiterated its stand that all ICs in the State should be recalled and reissued or renewed.

Its Acting President Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, suggested that the State Government apply biometric technology to prevent the issuance of illegal ICs.

He added that facial recognition technology should be used in the State's registration system, similar to what has been done in countries like India.

He also denied allegations that Upko had been conspiring to grant citizenship documents to illegal immigrants.

On another development, Liew said the Government would take into consideration the views of all stakeholders in the discussions to raise the marriage age limit from 16 to 18 before any decision is made.

He said the views of all relevant stakeholders are important to see the implications that would exist if the law is to be implemented later.

He added that the views of stakeholders in Sabah and Sarawak would also be taken into consideration as both states allow marriages under the age of 16 with parental permission based on the traditional marriages practised in the states.

"Considerations on the legal aspects of Islam are also taken into account in this discussion," he said.

Liew said he had been in constant talk with Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also the Women and Family Development Minister, and all relevant stakeholders on the issue.

"Discussions to amend the age group of marriages are aimed at safeguarding and preserving the interests of children as well as ensuring that no party exploited such groups for certain purposes.

"We do not want to allow paedophile to take advantage of loopholes to satisfy their desires," he said, added that a summary would be made after the discussions were completed before the law is implemented.

To a question on whether the Ministry will be able to come to an agreement with the Islamic bodies on the issue, Liew said they are discussing and opined that the Islamic bodies are also in the same thinking as members of society to protect the interests of children.

On another issue, Liew said the proposed names of members of the Cabinet Special Committee on the Implementation of the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63) and status of Sabah and Sarawak have been submitted to the Federal Cabinet.

"I will make an announcement within 100 days, we still have two weeks," he said. - Jo Ann Mool

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