In a bid to reject racial politics, a state assemblyperson attempted to register her daughter's race as 'Anak Malaysia' but was told by national registration officers that the current system does not allow this.
The six-day-old baby girl, Shay Adora Ram, who almost became the nation's first official 'anak Malaysia', is the first child of Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh and Ramachandran Muniandy.
The parents went to the National Registration Department headquarters in Putrajaya today to register Shay for her birth certificate.
"We were given a form to fill up. So we put 'anak Malaysia' in the column for 'race', but we were told by the officer that her race must be defined according to the parents' race, which is Chinese or Indian," Yeoh (right) told Malaysiakini when contacted today.
"We replied that my daughter is not Chinese or Indian."
Yeoh then opted to leave the column blank but this was again rejected by the officer.
"They said there is no provision to leave it blank. The system is incapable of registering our child. We must choose either one race," said the DAP lawmaker, adding that the lain-lain (others) category was also not available for her daughter.
The frustrated couple decided not to complete the registration process today, but was told that late registration would be more complicated and might affect the child in terms of medical treatment and other matters.
Having no choice but to safeguard their daughter's interest, the couple registered Shay as Chinese, for the time being.
"The system of registering citizens should be reflective of what the prime minister is preaching every day," said Yeoh.
"My husband and I are very vocal about racial issue. I don't want my child to look at her birth certificate one day and ask why we did not do what we preach."