18 February 2013

Applying for Identity Card at the new UTC Perak

Wow! I've reached a milestone. Or rather, my son has.

He just turned 12 and is now required by law to apply for his Identity Card (IC) which all Malaysians are obliged to carry with them.

I would have gone to the National Registration Department in Meru but for the newly opened Urban Transformation Centre of Perak (UTC Perak). It was officially opened by none other than our esteemed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on Friday, 15 February 2013, right spank in the middle of the Chinese New Year week.

So I told my son that we would get his new IC at the UTC Perak. He had wanted to go to Meru, which is farther out from where we live in Ipoh. You know how kids love to go for longer drives. Besides the Kompleks Pejabat Kementerian Hal Ehwal Dalam Negeri in Meru is a large, newish and (still) clean building with ample parking in its compound. 

The UTC Perak on the other hand, is housed in the same old dated building as the wet market in town. It now occupies the empty and abandoned floors once home to the Super Kinta supermarket. "Yucks!" my son had complained.

UTC Perak

Contrary to my assumption that the market building would be quiet with ample parking below ground, all the parking bays were full! At 4pm on a Monday. We had to circle a few times before we found a spot to park. 

The moment the kids got out of the car, they smelled the market.

I assured them that the UTC would not smell inside. Anyway, it was a good chance for me to introduce them to the market where I buy my groceries from which all their meals come from! 

We got a little lost trying to find the entrance to the UTC so I decided to go the safe way and find the main entrance of the UTC which fronts the fresh chicken vendors. The people in charge had of course erected nice shiny metallic boards to block off the unsightly chicken stalls.

Once inside the UTC we walked around a bit and finally found the National Registration Dept. Departments of all manner can be found in the UTC so I guess you can get all your routine, boring and frustrating dealings with the authorities done at one place!

Applying for the Identity Card

To apply for your child's IC, you need to bring your child's original birth certificate and the parent's original IC. Then you fill up the form that the officer gives you.
Our queue number was 2486. I asked how many people were ahead of us and was told there were 60! It was already 4pm, but the officer told me that everyone with a queue number would be attended to before the close of business today. 

Hmmm, perhaps I underestimated the number of people who would be doing this kind of errand during the CNY holidays! Oh well, we were already there so there was nothing else to be done except to wait.

We hung around a bit to observe the pace of numbers being called up. They seemed to be moving along pretty well, almost one per minute. Too good to be true!

We had a snack at Mc Donald's and came back after 20 minutes. Our number came up pretty soon after. The lady officer sighted the original birth cert and my IC. She then took both my son's and my thumbprints. Then she sent us off for his photo to be taken and we were done by 5pm! I was told to come back for his IC in 3 days' time.

60 people ahead of us and all done in 1 hour. I was suitably impressed. 
Perhaps this all has to do with an election year (call me a skeptic!) The officers were even reasonably polite and friendly, as opposed to all the sour faces we are accustomed to seeing at government offices. Maybe dear PM Najib had given clear and present instructions that the rakyat is to be served with smiles, as we pay taxes (their salary!) and we vote!

(images from someecards.com and nst.com.my)

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