“Register your marriage and keep all your documents in proper order,” said Buntong Assemblyman Sivasubramaniam when relating the case of Shamala Muniandy, 21, who never attended a day of schooling because she did not have a birth certificate.
“The delay in her parents registering her at birth had caused her to miss school totally. The result is she only speaks Tamil and no other language,” said Sivasubramaniam who was instrumental in helping her obtain her birth certificate and identity card. “Shamala has three children, ages 2 and 4 years and a nine-month-old baby. With her legal documents in hand she can now apply for welfare.”
Her problems are still not over. Shamala had a traditional marriage which was not registered. Currently, her husband is in jail and is due for release in November. “She does not want her children to have the same problem. Upon his release she will register her marriage.”
“As she could not produce a marriage certificate her children’s birth certificates did not indicate the status of their citizenship. This will be a problem again when it is time to register them for school. I will again assist the family to formalise their documents when the time comes,” added Sivasubramaniam.
The case for Shamala is most unfortunate. She is the last of five children where all her siblings were registered by her parents. According to the mother Elizabeth a/p Anthonysamy they kept putting off registering her birth. When her husband Muniandy passed away all effort stopped.
Elizabeth approached Sivasubramaniam for help when her efforts had failed. Sivasubramaniam approached the National Registration Department and provided all the family’s documents to convince them Shamala was eligible for a birth certificate. Upon acknowledging that all documents were in order Shamala was granted her birth certificate and MyKad was issued to her a month ago.
Sivasubramaniam is willing to assist any family with similar problems.