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What’s in your MyKad? August 24, 2007

Posted by elizabethwong in Democracy, Huh?!, Human Rights, International, Malaysia, Note2Self, Politics.

Press Statement: 24 August 2007


Dr Kua Kia Soong, a director of SUARAM was denied entry into Sarawak at 9pm, 23 August 2007. Kua, who is also principal of the community-funded New Era College, was on his way to officiate the graduation ceremony of teachers who have attained the New Era College Diploma in Education at Kuching and Sibu.

After screening Kua’s MyKad, the immigration officer at Kuching airport informed him that he had been refused entry into Sarawak because he is on the “blacklist for involvement in anti-logging activities”. From the computer reading of Kua’s MyKad, the officer also knew that Kua is a former member of parliament.

Dr Kua has been an active campaigner against the Bakun Dam project and was a member of the fact finding mission to enquire into the conditions faced by indigenous peoples displaced from the Bakun area to Sungai Asap resettlement camp in 1998.

This action by the Sarawak state government is a gross violation of Malaysians’ right to freedom of movement in their own country. How can we celebrate fifty years of independence when our state governments can arbitrarily decide to deny a Malaysian the sovereign right to move freely in their own country?

More insidious is the way the new Malaysian identity card ‘My Kad’ has become the accessory of a Malaysian police state. This is a most serious abuse of Malaysians’ human right to privacy. It is clear from this incident that the My Kad is now used to store updated information and to be used arbitrarily by the authorities without any explanation being given. The immigration officer had at first refused to divulge the reason for refusing entry to Kua. The reason was only forced out of the officer through persistent demands by Kua.

In recent years, Kua has been going in and out of Sarawak using his old identity card without being refused entry. Clearly, the new “smart” My Kad carries an entire dossier about every Malaysian and has given authorities new resolve to settle old scores!

This incident shows that all information about Malaysians is used interchangeably between federal and state governments. For certain, all government departments have access to MyKad dossier about every Malaysian. Is this dossier also available to banks and credit companies? Who decides? Do we know?

As we reach the 50th anniversary of independence, we grieve the death of our right to privacy and the coming of age of a Malaysian police state. We baulk at the fact that one who cares for the forests, resources and indigenous peoples of Malaysia can be cast out of a Malaysian state while tycoons and politicians who rape an entire forest are feted as “towering Malaysians” and patriots. This brings to mind Samuel Johnson observation that “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel!”

Suaram condemns the Sarawak government for this arbitrary exercise of state power to refuse entry to a Malaysian who has been actively concerned to protect Sarawakian forests, resources and indigenous peoples’ rights.

Suaram calls for an explanation from the federal government regarding the information about Malaysian citizens that have been encoded in the My Kad and the extent of interchangeability of this information with other authorities and bodies.

Suaram calls on the Malaysian people to demand accountability from their government regarding the invasion of their right to privacy and an end to the makings of a police state in Malaysia.



1. Environmentalist - August 24, 2007

There is a highly polluting aluminium smelter plant to be built in Bintulu, destroying virgin forests, displacing indigenious people and polluting the environment with harmful and toxic emissions. But hey, there’s billions to be made here, so nosy environmentalists have to be stopped.
What can we do, Elizabeth? It seems we are helpless and at mercy of our governments.
Bodies like suaram, can only express concern and condemn, but what after that?

EW: Dear Environmentalist, we don’t just express concern, we campaign and help organise resistance to such monstrosities from here. There’s already an international campaign building up, but similarly the work in Sarawak must also move up a few notches!

2. yan - August 24, 2007

If criminal record is being encoded into MyKad then it is reasonable. But anti-logging activities??? How could they refuse him (Dr. Kua) entry based on this? WTF. This present government is rotten & getting worst day after day.
That’s the reason why I refuse to use MyKad as Banking ATM or for any other purposes proposed by this sickening BN.

3. ivan yang - August 24, 2007

U can scream and shout and call for explanations but the govt. just buat tak tahu! Such is the state of affairs of the country right now. Just dun know how this country can be saved!

4. gua bay song - August 24, 2007

Oh shit…… looks like all of us here kantoi already……

5. john - August 24, 2007

According to yesterday’s Guardian news Rio Tinto is raising money (£20 billion) to buy Alcan (no debt crisis for the fat cats then), and no doubt that purchase is connected to the plan to build a smelter in conjunction with the chief minister of your nearby jungle paradise (oops, I meant logging and mineral-extraction opportunity). I quote from the Herald Tribune of 7 August 2007. “Rio Tinto will hold a 60 percent stake in the venture to be known as Sarawak Aluminium Company. The remaining 40 percent will be owned by Cahya Mata, in which the family of Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud is a key shareholder”.

OK, then how strange is it that Bakun Dam issues suddenly wash downstream? We can read between the lines just like card readers can read the code.

The whole world is watching Big Brother.

Tawdry Souvenirs

6. hasilox - August 24, 2007

My father was born in TANAH MELAYU.
I was born in MALAYSIA.
My children likely in MALAYAMAR, with mountains of debt

Looks like walking away is not a bad option.

7. ghostline - August 25, 2007

Malaysia is sliding dangerously towards becoming a fascist police state under UMNO-BN. The police and enforcement agencies have been politicised and corrupted into becoming organs of the ruling party.

The hijacking of the mass media, constant attempts to indoctrinate the population, incessant racial posturing, stonewalling over government scandals, hysterical persecution of dissenting voices and now the abuse of the MyKad system to keep tabs on civil society activists all bear a sinister resemblance to the rise of the Nazis and Fascists in the early 1930’s.

8. Top Posts « WordPress.com - August 25, 2007

[…] What’s in your MyKad? Press Statement: 24 August 2007 SUARAM DIRECTOR DENIED ENTRY INTO SARAWAK MYKAD IS AN ACCESSORY OF A MALAYSIAN […] […]

9. whispering9 - August 25, 2007

“He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666” (Rev. 13:16-18).

A prelude for more to come, nope?

10. wits0 - August 25, 2007

Whispering9, that Revelation quote is never far from my mind and memory 😉 The ultimate fascist trademark way to go.

11. hutchrun - August 25, 2007

I think a few got the insight. 666 is very close to 6666. Maybe September 11 celebrations round the corner.

12. monsterball - August 26, 2007

What a shame…After 50 years….only in Malaysia…a free Malaysian is barred from entering certain part of his country.
That’s the start of the so call hypocrisy in the formation a country….marriage of conveniences …but not a true marriage at all.
Yes we all know that Sarawak and Sabah became Malaysia on the conditions that they have certain irrevocable powers…but that was 50 years ago. That should give whoever in power to have enough time to convince the people there to have no walls separating the Malaysians.
This is clear…that divide and rule is always in these totally insincere politicians. When are the people going to wake up and change it?

13. xpyre - August 27, 2007

Wait, am I missing something here? How is it a crime to lobby against logging activities that could harm indigenous folk? Where’s the crime?! If there are checkpoints across state lines, will I be held for “speaking against the government”? Because it’s the same thing!

This is ridiculous and beyond the pale!!

14. ichtus - August 27, 2007

Lets not start jumping up and down like monyets. Lets not be monkeys like some people we know… so, is Dr.Kua’s personal history entered into his Mycard database, or is his entry denial an instruction in the immigration database?

If the mycard is used as a “big brother” watching us, then right thinking Malaysians need to do something fast.

15. frossonice - September 22, 2007

Actually, by accessing your personal data inside MyKad, the Immigration Department can also access your whatever records with Polis and other linked department. The real data is not stored inside the MyKad itself. Get your fact right first.

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