Friday, September 9, 2011

No more 'Abdullah' for such children

KUALA TERENGGANU: The state government has submitted a proposal to the National Registration Department (NRD) to enable illegitimate children, born after their parents are married, to carry their father's name in their identity card.

The step is taken to avoid having the children suffer from emotional trauma and social stigma of having their father's name listed as "Abdullah" in their identity card which is the current practice.

However, a "Section 13" clause will be added in the identity card to enable the Religious Department to carry out procedures such as marriages according to the requirements of Islam.

The proposal was announced by the state government after a meeting between the Terengganu Religious Affairs Department (JHEAT), state NRD, Mufti Department and state Syariah Courts Judicial Department on Monday.

At present, the standard procedure is to put "Abdullah" as the father's name for Muslim children born less than six months after their parents' marriage.

It was learnt that the NRD had agreed to the proposal and the necessary amendments to the relevant Acts will be tabled in Parliament soon.

State Religious and Information Committee chairman Khazan Che Mat said the proposal was mooted in view of the emotional pressure and problems faced by such children.

"Although they can appeal to have their father's name recorded in the identity card instead of "Abdullah" when they are 12 years old, it is unfair and not their fault in the first place."

Khazan said JHEAT and Mufti Department had agreed to the proposal and were in the process of fine-tuning it.

In another development, Khazan said effective immediately, marriage certificates issued overseas would be valid for birth registration even if the marriage was yet to be registered and approved by the state Syariah Courts. - NST

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