Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Are Muslim converts a discriminated/disadvantaged lot?

YES!!! If you asked me! And why you may want to know, right?

I've never thought of if this way, although at times certain transactions may be less convenient, until I experienced it the hard way, TWICE and that's enough!

Be warned - extra long post!

Case 1

Pregnant and close to due date, (last year) went into a bank (CIMB) to withdraw some moolah. Not convenient for an ATM transaction, so I went to the counter. Knowing that the name on the account is that of my previous name, I provided the officer with my IC and my convert card. (And just in case you don't know, my previous name, the whole name, still exists in my new name, so if you compare, there's no reason to think that it may be 2 different people at all.) Few seconds later, she tells me that my name in the system is not the same as on my IC and she is unable to proceed with my transaction. I have to go to my 'home branch' (which is like 40km away) to change my name before she can do anything.

My question to her:
1. I have given you my convert card which states both my old n new name, with my IC number, so why can't you use that? (short of saying - you blind kah?!!)
2. My home branch is far away, can't u change it for me? (you think I got nothing better to do? In the IT-age, you trying to bluff me that you can't do it for me?

Guess what she said?
1. Nope, it doesn't match in the system so I can't allow it.
2. I can't. Its easier if you go there and do it yourself, anyway. (if my branch was in JB/Kedah/Kelantan and not 40km away??)

At that point of time, i was fuming and called hubby who was waiting in the car. Immediately he came up. But while he looked for parking, I demanded to see her manager and this other lady was as 'lazy' and unhelpful as she is.

I told her, an internationally recognized bank, HSBC has no qualms allowing me to do transactions like this. RHB too allows me to do transactions like this. And what is so wrong with another local bank? She says that's the rule. But haven't I showed them enough proof?

When hubby came in, he reiterrated the same. After some heated exchange of words among the 3 of us, she relented, saying ok go ahead. Can allow. And right after that, hubby asked her 'Is that the way you treat or discrimate converts, while you yourself is a Muslim? What kind of image are you trying to project? More so you're doing that to a pregnant lady??' She kept quiet.

Immediately I told that officer, 'Please take out ALL my money and leave on the minimal amount necessary (RM10, I think) for me to keep the account alive, after which I will ensure its dormant. No point wasting my time with people who treat others like less than human. It's as though I was trying to cheat them.' And its not like I've got millions in the bank to begin with. The officer then asked me - should I change the name for you? I told her, do what you feel like doing, and give me the money I asked for. The rest, I'm not bothered as I'm not going to do another transaction with this bank, so I don't need to know which name its under! (couple of weeks after, I received a letter notifying me of the name change)

When we got the money, the manager passed it to us and apologized, with tears in her eyes. We looked at her and told her, 'its too late. It's ok, don't have to apologize. You should've thought about your actions/words in the begining.'

(May I also add that we told her that we'd write to the press. Maybe this was what worried her, as we got all their names down.)

Case 2

Few days back, after finding out that I may need to go out of the country for work, I went to renew my passport which had expired in 2009. Wasn't prepared, so I went to the Subang branch immigration office and asked the info counter what I needed. I also told the office that my name on the old passport is that of my previous name and he told me to hold on while he checked again.

He came back n told me that I only needed to get a letter from JPN to confirm my name change and the other docs were the same as normal renewal, i.e. form, photo and copy of IC and the old passport. I went home to get my old passport and got the letter from JPN.

Went back to the same office 3 hours later (yes, kelana jaya to petaling jaya to cheras and back to KJ), sat infront of a young lady and she looks through my documents. Gave her the JPN letter and then suddenly she says I need your birthcert. At that instant, I exploded (controlled, slightly). I blurted out 'excuse me, I came here 3 hrs earlier and that officer, yes that guy there (pointing), told me this is all I needed, so I went home to get my passport only. If I'd knew I needed the BC, I'd have brought. Why can't you guys be firm and standarize?' She claims this is standard and dunno why that guy didn't mention. Seeing I was angry, she went to her superior and this slightly older man came to tell me that they will process my application first and then when they call me, I bring my BC. Did you notice that now it's an application? Not a renewal?

MY question is, do you think I'm illegal that I needed to show proof of my BC? Isn't my IC proof enough that I'm Malaysian with both my names stored there, and my convert card too? I actually asked JPN what's the name on the IC and she told me both names are in the chip. So what's the problem, immigration people?

Then I cooled down a little and spoke to the lady nicely, telling her that perhaps there should be a standard doc or info for all of them to refer to so they won't cause such inconvenience. YOu know what she replied? Typical lazy gov staff - 'Oh we already have this, and I dunno why that other person didn't tell you. We also have a checklist already.' I asked 'so if the checklist exists, why didn't he give me?' Now my voice raised, she kept quiet.

And prior to this, she actually asked me why I converted. I asked her, what's the relevance of this? Why do you need to know? For fun, can or not? she say she wants proof, so I say for fun, got proof? She kept quite and asked my for my kad nikah. Because she saw I ticked 'married'. The guy at the next counter already noticed that I was one angry customer. Any angrier, the whole office would've heard me.

Conclusion
1. Is the IC not good enough for any official transactions? IF not good enough then what's the point of carrying it around? Waste time and resourced putting up the JPN office to make IC for people.
2. IS there a reason there's so many red tapes for a muslim convert (mualaf) in this country? And you call yourself an Islamic nation?
3. Is this the way you are trying to show other religion that Islam is a very compromising religion? When the very people who are making life difficult for us are also Muslims themselves.
4. Don't ever give the excuse that this is the law/rule, because in Case 1, you could bend the rules. Rules are created by human, and if required, it can be changed. No? Then why at last in Case 1, I got my moolah and the officer could change my name without me going to my home branch?

I assure you, this will be sent to the press.

3 comments:

yatie chomeyl said...

i think there's always these kind of ignorant bitch everywhere. the thing about these bitches is that they care less about other's feeling and hassles.

these bitches lah yang memburukkan nama islam di mata orang lain. pasal msia negara Islam..errmmm...is it??? tengok kat isteri PM pun dah jadi confuse..err betul ke msia negara Islam huhuhuhu

Fong said...

dorg ni.. mmg kene marah baru ble jalan.. dorg mmg gitu.. blasah kang baru tau... yup, send to the press.. put name gak.. baru padan muke.. never like our first lady.. =(

LoveZahra@Fazahra said...

i baca pun geram...agree 1OO% send it to press mummy..1 Msia la sangat..