Hornbill Unleashed

November 4, 2012

‘Bin’ & ‘Binti’ RUSE to force Islam on bumiputra Christians in Sabah & Sarawak?

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
Tags: , ,

Bob Teoh'Bin' & 'Binti' RUSE to force Islam on bumiputra Christians in Sabah & S'wak?

Bumiputra Christians in Sabah continue to be “converted to Islam” by the National Registration Department (NRD) simply because they have “bin” and “binti” in their names. Sabah churches are seeking urgent solutions to the crisis but none seems to be in sight.

The NRD has made it clear it would continue to list bumiputra Christians in Sabah as Muslims as long as they are known by bin or binti. It would also not rectify past entry errors by way of changing the religion listing back to Christianity in the identity cards (MyKad) of those affected. The NRD would only act upon an order by a Syariah High Court to determine whether those bumiputra Christians whom it had listed as Muslims are not Muslims indeed.

Even if these native Christians get a hearing from the Syariah Court, both the NRD and Islamic authorities may not turn up, thus causing unnecessary delays.

‘Wrongly’ classified as Muslims

A current test case has been mounted by a 53 year-old widow and her two adult daughters and supported by the respective local churches. All three are from the Dusun Banggi tribe.

Intim binti Lambatan, was born in 1959 in Banggi, the northernmost island in Sabah. Her husband died 20 years ago. She was officially baptised in her church, the Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) in Limbuak Darat, in Kudat on mainland Sabah seven years ago and issued a Baptism Certificate. The SIB is the biggest indigenous protestant church in Sabah. Her elder daughter, Norina binti Nuhudan,28, was baptised when she was 15 while her younger daughter, Listin Nuhudan, 22, was baptised when she was 14. Both are also SIB members.

When all three had their religion wrongly classified as “Islam” in their MyKad, they brought the matter up to their pastors. A Christian lawyer from another SIB church in Kota Kinabalu agreed to take up their case but the lawyer had to engage a Muslim counsel to act on their behalf in the Syariah High Court.

Christian lawyer barred from practising in Syariah court

In March last year a Christian lawyer, Victoria Jayaseele Martin, was barred from practising in a Syariah court despite having a Diploma in Syariah Law and Practice from the International Islamic University Malaysia, in addition to a University of London law degree.

The test case was initiated several months ago when Intim went to the Kudat office of the Jabatan Hal Ehwal Agama Islam Negeri Sabah – JHEAINS – or the Sabah Islamic Affairs Department, to clarify the status of her religion.

On 25 July, the department wrote to the Syariah Court in Kudat to say that Intim’s name is not on record in their Pendaftaran Pengislaman (Islamisation Register).

With JHEAINS’s clarification, she made a statutory declaration at the Kudat Magistrate Court stating that she is not a Muslim and that her name is not on the Islamic department’s register. She said she was not originally a Muslim but when she applied for her identity card, the word “Islam” was wrongly recorded on it.

But still the NRD would not rectify its error and issue her a new identity card with her correct status as a Christian. It looks like it is Intim’s responsibility to first go to the Kudat Syariah High Court for a declaration that she is not a Muslim.

This she did by filing a case against the Ketua Pendafter Muallaf (Chief Registrar of New Believers) of Sabah on 14 August. The Director General of the NRD was cited as the second respondent. She is asking for her status as a Muslim to be deleted from her identity card.

Refusal to change despite proof

The Kudat Syariah High Court then wrote back to the Islamic Department to investigate further whether Intim is a Muslim on their register. The mention date was twice postponed to last Monday (28 Oct). But both the respondents did not turn up, thus causing more delays.

The problem has long reached a crisis in Sabah when SIB churches could not marry their members as some are found to be “Muslims” in their MyKad and the Registrar of Marriages would not recognise such marriages.

Two years ago, the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF), of which SIB is a member, met the NRD Director General and his senior officers. NECF was assured that the problem could easily be resolved be those affected filing in what it called a “Borang A” to change the status of their religion.

The NECF was happy with that assurance and posted an advisory on its website: “Fuss-free way to change religion data in MyKad.”

“Christians who wish to change their religion to Christianity in their MyKad data are not required to tender any legal documents, such as baptism certificates. They only need to fill in ‘Borang A’ to effect the change,” NECF then said.

“This was confirmed at a recent meeting between NECF Malaysia and top officials from the National Registration Department (NRD).”

But NECF itself pointed out the catch. “This is not applicable if they had been registered as Muslims.”

Another RUSE

NECF said, at the meeting with NRD officials, it also raised the issue of East Malaysian Christians whose religion in their MyKad is recorded as “Islam” simply because their names carry “bin” and “binti”.

“This is a prevailing problem in Sabah and Sarawak where many indigenous citizens have names that carry bin and binti”. The NRD automatically assigns their religion as ‘Islam’ even though many of them are Christians,” according to NECF.

NECF also said the NRD confirmed that those who are affected could change the data in their MyKad provided they had obtained clearance from the Syariah Court.

It looks like NECF had bought a dud – the Borang A assurance by the NRD is just a ruse to continue its “Islamisation” by deception in Sabah.



  1. I think all thoze Christian bumiputra who have “bin” or “binti” should held a feast of ” Bak kut Tea” Infront of this Jabatan Agama Islam in order to show and prove to the government and this stupit people who they area beside that Call all th foreign envoy plus all the international media to do the Coverage . Let us tell the whole.world what the devil is trying to do.

    Comment by Dayak Borneo — March 19, 2014 @ 9:38 AM | Reply

  2. SUHAKAM should investigate the matter fully & establish the legality of this and take it further.

    Unless these registrants are illegal immigrants. If they are the National Registration people and Department should be subjected to the most exacting legal inquiry as this is constitutional matter.

    Comment by loyar burok — November 5, 2012 @ 3:59 PM | Reply

  3. Perhaps these christians legally made muslims illegally [ sounds like the illegal made legal immigrants] should bring PIG HEADS along with them to NRD and the Islamic Depts to prove their devotion to their religion. Maybe then those idiots who did that would be more responsible and attentive in their dealings with the public, not just assume and presume that every profess the same religion as them. Chomping and munching on those fat PIG HEADS infront of them will definitely send them scurrying to put right their misdeeds. If NRD and those Islamic Depts.don’t want any pig heads chomping and munching lunches in their offices then do the right thing, give those folks back their religion as they do not want yours afterall eveybody is free to practice the religion of their choice in this country but not the one that is given to them by NRD!

    Comment by brian — November 5, 2012 @ 3:57 PM | Reply

  4. Is “bin” or “binti” the criteris for a human being to be called a Muslim? So, what about the Africans,, Alabanians, Turks, Kazakhs etc etc who do not have “bin” or “binti” in their identification cards? Are they not Muslims?

    Comment by Mandela — November 5, 2012 @ 10:29 AM | Reply

  5. From whom did NRD receive its instruction to classify East Malaysians Bumiputras with “”and “binti” to Muslim from and beginning from what year? This is a serious breach of the constitution of both states and an invasion on the Christian community who have been guaranteed under our federal constitution to practise their religion freely. The matter must be investigated and action taken against the culprits in NRD.

    Comment by Mata Kuching — November 4, 2012 @ 8:45 PM | Reply

  6. By the way, this is happening even in Peninsula Malaysia…to be exact, in Kuala Selangor … Then the goons claim, “….apotasy..forced correction…” which situation was CREATED by them in the first place…then when the effected people objected, the goons say, “…go to syariah court”…and so creating another non-stop misery to the people…just WHAT KIND OF GOVERNMENT keep CREATING ONE MISERY AFTER ANOTHER JUST BECAUSE THE PEOPLE WANT SOME PEACE of mind !!! Dear Lord, open up the peoples mind and give them WISDOM to STOP the 50 years rot !!

    Comment by teres6842550 — November 4, 2012 @ 7:08 PM | Reply

  7. This unfortunate crisis should happen in the dinosaur age and not the millennium age where computers can rectify errors with seconds, unless, BN, as per normal, is up to some nasty tricks again.

    Comment by Geronimo Miller — November 4, 2012 @ 11:27 AM | Reply

  8. All the more why Sbh/Swak MUST ABSOLUTELY VOTE OUT BN … Isn’t it enough that YOU have been bullied and cheated ( land grabbing and made poorer ) and now YOU WILL HAVE TO GRAPPLE WITH THE LOSS OF YOUR TRUE IDENTITY … God, help open the people eyes !!!

    Comment by teres6842550 — November 4, 2012 @ 3:53 AM | Reply

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