03 July 2013

Man admits to marrying Sabahan for citizenship

An immigrant from the Philippines admitted today to the Royal Commission Inquiry (RCI) that he married a Sabahan woman for the sole purpose of obtaining citizenship.

During questioning, Abdul Latif Jumani, the 161st witness told the RCI panel at the Kota Kinabalu High Court that he even divorced his previous wife just so he could marry a local.

“You divorced your Filipina wife to marry a Sabahan, just so your position as a Sabahan was more solid?” asked investigator, Jamil Aripin.

“Yes,” Abdul Latif answered.

Abdul Latif said he came to Sabah in 1972 at the age of 14 with his family. He claimed to be from the Ubian islands in the Phillipines.

He had divorced his Filipina wife of 10 years, under the pretext that she could not give him a child.

He then married his current wife in 2004 and they have two children, aged eight and six.

Asked how he obtained the identity card, Abdul Latif said he went to a house in Sembulan and met a man who took down his details.

"I gave him four photos of myself, then filled up a form, where I also put my thumbprints. I paid RM5 and five months later was given a blue identity card,” he told the panel.

He said when he went to register his child’s birth at the National Registration Department he was told that his personal details were similar to that of a Pakistani.

He said the department cleared the air when they interviewed him and established that he was Abdul Latif.

However, the department made him use a temporary receipt for eight years while they sorted out the confusion. - July 3, 2013.


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