KOTA MARUDU: Some 300 people from far flung villages here are expected to benefit from a two-day joint mobile registration for identification documents, ending Saturday.
The local lawmaker, Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili hailed the exercise, organised jointly by the National Registration Department (JPN) and Kota Kinabalu High Courts, that is aimed at reaching out to the villagers in the district, many of whom do not have basic identification documents.
He noted that since 2002, some 2,800 villagers have benefited from the exercise, with 800 children issued birth certificates, while the remaining received their identification cards (ICs).
Over the years, he said the two government agencies have assisted villagers in remote areas to screen for genuine natives and facilitate in registering them as citizens.
“Kota Marudu is one of districts frequently visited by government machinery,” said Ongkili, adding villagers from Kampung Sonsogon Magandai, Kampung Lingkabau, Kampung Gana, Kg Marak Parak, Kg Samparita and others in the upper hills have already benefited from the programme.
Ongkili who is also the Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water commended both the Kota Kinabalu High Court Judge, Justice Datuk Douglas Cristo Primus Sikayun and NRD Special Mobile Unit head, Abdon @ Nasir Ambikin for undertaking the programme.
He said many in the interior have been deprived of government facilities and assistance due to the absence of the birth certificates and MyKad, blaming it partly to transportation problem and associated expenses including fines, as well as costly accommodation and travelling, which the villagers could not afford.
When visiting the registration centre at the Kota Marudu Community Hall earlier Friday, Ongkili said he was impressed with the large turn-out.
He added that only with proper documentation can the natives enjoy government aid, such as subsidies for agriculture, medical and their children can go to government schools.