IPOH: A more relaxed interview process is being considered by the Home Ministry (KDN) in improving applications to obtain citizenship status through naturalisation.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said his ministry together with the National Registration Department (JPN) will examine the improvements that can be implemented to facilitate the application for citizenship status under Article 9 (1) of the Federal Constitution.

“Among them, the method of conducting the interview is not too regimented, not too schematic and we want to conduct it in a more relaxed, conducive atmosphere and remove a sense of nervousness,“ he told a press conference after attending the “Menyemai Kasih Rakyat Bersama Menyantuni Penghuni Rumah Seri Kenangan” programme in Ulu Kinta here today.

He said some 12,000 citizenship applications out of a total of 49,000 being processed by the NRD are currently under Article 19 (1).

Earlier, he had witnessed the Malay Language Knowledge Test Programme (UPBM) at the KDN Complex here which was attended by a total of 56 applicants for citizenship according to the naturalisation process who were between 70 and 100 years old.

In other developments, Saifuddin slammed reports that claimed the implementation of the Licensed Prisoner Release Programme (PBSL) through house arrest was an effort to free former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Instead, the proposal is a government initiative to reduce overcrowding in all 43 prisons across the country that currently house 80,000 inmates, he stressed.

“I want to refute the mischievous narrative played by a handful of media purportedly to put Najib under house arrest.

“They cannot see the perspective of reducing prison overcrowding, especially for certain categories, there is a panel to evaluate them for the type of offences we recommend, only if they are sentenced to less than four years in prison,“ he said.

On Saturday, Saifuddin was reported to have said that the government agreed in principle to start PBSL through house arrest for prisoners serving sentences of four years and below as an effort to reduce prison overcrowding.

He was reported as saying that the KDN is currently in the process of examining the method of implementing the initiative from the point of view of relevant legal provisions to ensure whether existing acts and regulations need to be re-enacted or not.

Earlier, a total of five replacement ID card applications were processed and submitted to the residents of Rumah Seri Kenangan Ulu Kinta today.

The MEKAR programme with the residents of Rumah Seri Kenangan Ulu Kinta is a periodic programme organised by Perak JPN for welfare and protection homes to deal with the issue of identity document dropouts and facilitate the registration or replacement of Mykad documents.

JPN’s MEKAR program is a field programme where the issue of identity documents such as MyKad and birth certificates is provided to people with disabilities (OKU), the elderly, homeless patients and those living in the interiors. -Bernama

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