By THE BORNEOTODAY TEAM
KOTA KINABALU: Julitah Bahiau, the Dusun woman from Ranau caught up in a storm over alleged erroneous details of her religion in her MyKad, has come out to say that she never converted to Islam as claimed by the National Registration Department (JPN).
She said in a statement through Perpaduan Anak Negeri Sabah (PAN Sabah) chairman Esther Golingi that the Majlis Ugama Islam Sabah (MUIS) must show proof that she converted to Islam as alleged in 1988 in Ranau.
“I deny the allegation made by JPN (last week) that I converted to Islam in 1988. I demand that MUIS show me proof of my conversion,” she said in the statement Tuesday.
According to Julitah, who last week appealed to the authorities concerned to allow her son, Aryton Verlando, to go to school despite not having a birth certificate, said she is a practising Christian.
“I was baptised in 2002,” she disclosed. “I have every right to raise my children according to my religious beliefs.”
Julitah also thanked Karanaan Assemblyman Datuk Masidi Manjun for pledging to help her out of her predicament.
“I hope my problem can be solved as soon as possible as I have been shunting between the JPN and MUIS for many years already and there seems to be no solution in sight,” she added.
On Friday, JPN Sabah, in a statement, claimed that their records show that Julitah bin Bahiau (690502-12-5614) converted on 8.10.88 at the Jabatan Agama Islam Negeri Sabah in Ranau.
The statement said her conversion was registered as 003/40/24,424/1988 at Jabatan Hal Ehwal Agama Islam Negeri Sabah
“JPN does not have the power or authority to amend the religion on her son’s birth certificate and whatever was recorded was based on procedure according to the mother’s religion.
The statement also said JPN Sabah has directed the complainant to deal with Jabatan Hal Ehwal Agama Islam Negeri Sabah and once she has settled the matter with them, she can then approach JPN further action.
“In the meantime, the birth certificate for Aryton is at JPN Kota Kinabalu. Julitah can collect it anytime in order to register her son for school. Any alterations to the document can be made after the decision by JHEAS,” it stated.
BorneoToday highlighted Julitah’s sad case last Wednesday, headlined: A Desperate Mother’s Plea: ‘Please Help My ‘Stateless’ Son Go To School’
Julitah made her impassioned plea: “My youngest child, Aryton Verlando was born at Hospital Likas on October 28, 2010. I applied for his birth certificate on time.
“However, when it was issued under Birth Certificate No: SB595631 (as I remember and as recorded in his Clinical Card), the National Registration Department (JPN) identified my son as a Muslim.
“I explained to the JPN officers that I am not a Muslim and produced my baptism certificate. I told them that my son would be raised up as a Christian and asked for the deletion of the word Islam from the birth certificate.
JPN then took my son’s original birth certificate and it has been withheld (from me) until today. No temporary certificate was given to me.