How often do you check your Identification Card (IC)?
My IC is one of those things I keep in my wallet and tend to forget about. So when I was slated for a media trip to Bario in Sarawak recently and the organisers booked the tickets under my IC, I happily whipped it out….only to realise that the back laminate had peeled off, and the front was in danger of going the same way.
This was a couple of days before the flight. (!!!)
So I took the morning off work and headed to the Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara (JPN) branch in Puchong – but the counter lady told me it would take two weeks. Two weeks! The world swam before my eyes… But wait… She was saying something and as I came back from my near-black-out state, I realised that she was telling me that I could go to the main branch in Putrajaya to get it done within the day. Woot!
Putrajaya used to be my ‘beat’ when I was journalist, so driving there and seeing its nicely laid out streets and tall, modern buildings brings back memories.
The JPN building (above) is located in Precinct 2, just next to Perbadanan Putrajaya. You can park inside the building, but there are loads of free parking spots across the road, facing the lake.
Count me impressed! Walked into a squeaky clean building that had a nice open layout and lots of sunshine filtering in. Departments were clearly labeled: 1st floor for Marriage and Divorce, 2nd floor for Identification Cards, etc. I headed straight up to the second floor. Even for a weekday it was really empty; I had barely gotten my queue number when it was called over the PA system.
Went to the counter, and the lady took my fingerprints, details and my old card. Then I made a payment of RM10 for replacement. (It’s RM100 if you lost the card). A receipt was issued and I was told to check back at in an hour.
Ground floor had a cafeteria hidden at the end. Stalls sold local Malay and Indian food like Roti Canai, Mi Goreng, noodles and the like.
One Roti Bom and teh tarik later, I still had 30 minutes to go, so I wandered about and found a small but intriguing museum, dedicated to the history of JPN.
There was nobody in there so I took my time examining the exhibits.
Samples depicting the evolution of birth certificates, identification cards, citizenship papers, marriage and death certs.
Some of the old equipment used in the department.
How the old ICs used to look like before digital scanning of thumbprints was invented. Good ol’ ink.
And the newer ICs. Mine looked like the bottom one before I changed to the latest (it has two photos of the card holder on it). I last got it made in 2011.
These were apparently the ICs of the local indigenous people.
An old record book dating back to 1887. Impressive handwriting – looks typed! This was back in the day when they actually cared about this sort of thing. Now I can’t even write properly coz I’m so used to typing lol.
The back room of the museum has a display of commemorative tokens presented to the department from overseas dignitaries, as well as some historical documents such as this old IC of our former Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad..
And Tun Hussein Onn.
The hour was up, and I promptly made my way back to the 2nd floor to collect my brand new IC. It was done! The process was smooth, hassle-free and really fast. Now if only all other gov departments were this efficient. 😛
So here’s the rundown:
Go to JPN – Proceed to 2nd Floor – get number – go to counter – pay fee and get receipt – wait for number to be called to have your photo taken – take photo – wait 1 hour – collect IC. Easy peasy!
Giving credit where credit is due, I’m impressed by the speed and efficiency of the JPN. Passports take a bit longer but considering that it only takes a day as opposed to a month (in places like the Philippines), we Malaysians should really stop complaining about everything. We don’t know how good we have it here.