600 IC numbers being shared, RCI told

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The National Registration Department (NRD) said today there are some 600 problematic blue identity card numbers that are being shared by more than one person.

"Yes, they are in our records, about 600 of them," NRD headquarters identity card division director Md Solehan Omar testified at the royal commission of inquiry (RCI) on immigrants in Sabah.

Solehan said this when asked by conducting officer Manoj Kurup whether allegations of more than one person using the same identity card number were true.

However, Solehan did not elaborate on the matter as neither conducting officers, nor watching brief lawyers pressed him on this issue.

He also explained that NRD faced problematic blue identity card applications in Sabah but was unable to provide figures.

The problem, he explained, was due to discrepancies between information on the application forms and those in NRD's system.

"The pictures, names or fingerprints are not the same as in NRD's records," he said.

'Panel to fix problem'

However, he said the agency had since taken corrective measures and disciplianry action had been taken against those responsible.

"We have formed a special panel since 2006 to scrutinise, go through the data and re-do the interviews done in Sabah for the identity cards," he said.

He added that the effort was still ongoing but added that he did not have the figures with him.

However, Md Solehan denied that blue identity cards had been illegally given out to immigrants.

Also taking the stand today was Kota Kinabalu Immigration Department special unit chief Abdul Khalid Abdul Karim, who explained the documents the agency uses in handling immigrants.

He added that as of December last year, a total of 98,427 IMM13 document, a pass for refugees, had been issued. Of  that number t, 60,248 of are still active through renewal.

He explained that the inactive ones could mean the refugees could have gone on to apply for permanent citizenship, returned to their countries of origin, or had passed away.

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