My plan to legitimise my son as a human being today has been folded.
Went to JPN to register his birth with the form filled out as well as original and copies of documents (IC, Passport, marriage certificate, verification letter from hospital, antenatal check-up appointment card).
Reached the office to find 2 out of 10 counters operating. Never mind, I took my number and there’s only 8 people in front of me. Still, it took an hour of waiting before my turn.
When it’s finally my turn, I was told that I can’t register my son’s birth because my antenatal appointment card only has dates for post-partum visits. What they need are both pre-natal and post-natal visits listed in the card.
At this point, I was a little panicked. Because I no longer knew where the older appointment card is. I mean, do people really keep these cards around even when it’s already fully filled out?
I never knew the importance of the appointment card. Basically, it’s just that small booklet that your nurse handwrite check-up dates in. Nobody has impressed upon me the importance of this card to me. If I had known, I would have kept it in a safe place.
I also questioned the necessity of this appointment card as everything I was submitting anyway pointed to a legitimate birth of a baby and that I am the parent?? If anyone could enlighten me of this seemingly redundant necessity, it would be much appreciated.
Anyway they told me to go to the hospital to print out my antenatal check-up dates (which I had no idea whether it’s possible) and to come back another time.
Also, on this day I found out that if you registered your child’s birth after 42 days, there would be a lot of mess to follow. You’d have to appear together with your spouse to “sumpah” and get every single document validated/notarised – information that weren’t available online or offline.
I discovered this via the counter staff…who thankfully warned me as I am precariously 2 days away from being over 42 days. And there I was thinking if we were later than 42 days it’s only a RM50 fine. We didn’t mean to wait so long to register his birth of course, but were simply caught off-guard by the sheer amount of time a baby takes up.
Only a fellow parent will understand how time just zips by in a haze of breastfeeding, milk pumping, diaper changing and coaxing a baby to sleep.
Why are information about important governmental procedures so scarce, inconsistent and incomplete? It’s ironic that I feel least Malaysian whenever I need to get something done at a government office!
Fortunately, my old appointment card turned up at the house after a short rummaging. So I’m going to try again tomorrow. Wish me luck!