KUALA LUMPUR: Only 198 of 346 government official forms retained the space on racial identity, revealed a survey by the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (Mampu) in 2011.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun said racial identity information is still required in several government official forms because they involve legal aspects and certain requirements, the Dewan Rakyat was told.
He said the space on identity information in some government forms was maintained because of the requirements under Article 153 of the Federal Constitution and certain laws.
“Efforts to drop the race column in official government forms has been initiated since 2009.
“The cabinet meeting on July 29, 2009, agreed that forms used by the government, except MyKad and certain government documents, be reviewed by government agencies to drop the unnecessary identity information,” he told the Dewan Rakyat today in response to a supplementary question posed by Dr Mansor Abdul Rahman (BN – Sik).
Mansor has asked if removing the race column in official forms will be able to create the spirit of Bangsa Malaysia, despite the existence of vernacular schools in the country.
Entulu said following the decision by the cabinet, action was taken by government agencies to review the use of racial identity in government forms.
“The use of race identification in the government’s official forms is still needed for several purposes,” he said.
On the detailed race column in the entrance application form for public universities, Joseph said it was a good step to achieve the aim of Bangsa Malaysia as all races and ethnic groups are included in the form.
Entulu had said earlier this year that government departments which had not yet dropped the race column in official documents are encouraged to do so if the racial identity of an individual is unnecessary.
“The government assures Malaysians that if details of one’s race are requested, it is because it is necessary and not for racial profiling. We need these details in many instances like in a census and for research purposes,” he had said.