Give me a break – I am just trying to register a birth!

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.

Sigh.

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!

12 thoughts on “Give me a break – I am just trying to register a birth!”

  1. I thought you had to register the baby within 14 days? I did babycheang’s on day 13 LOL.

    Come to think of it, it helped that LL was already registered with a government klinik, and that she gave birth in a government hospital so the baby appointment book was always with us at all times. Or else we’d have lost it too LOL. In the end, I was in and out of JPN in an hour.

    Sorry to hear you had to go through so much trouble though. Could it be because G is not a Malaysian citizen?

    1. Yeah, registering within 14 days is free. Then it’s RM5 penalty till day 42. After that, it’s RM50 penalty with a whole lot of hassle that they haven’t really publicised >_< Hopefully everything will be a breeze tomorrow. G's citizenship...we haven't even come to that yet hopefully it's a non-factor haha :P

    1. Yeap, always make things so “convenient” for its people :P Lets not even talk about all the official letters in Bahasa Malaysia that they send to my mat salleh husband -__-“

      1. Hi Kimberly,

        Been reading your blog for a while but first time commenting. I know that many people are caught up in the early days of parenting and tend to miss out on a detail or two here and there.

        My husband and I live in Japan, both of us foreigners who read and speak a little Japanese. During my pregnancy, I made numerous visits to my city office to ask questions about registering baby’s birth, insurance, family registry etc. and most of the time, I either took home a bunch of documents in Japanese, or I lucked out and the translator is on duty that day. Each visit took no less than / hours. We have no family here in Japan to “help us out” nor do we have a car. Both my husband and I were also working throughout my pregnancy.

        The day before I delivered our baby (now 8 weeks old) it was sweltering in the summer heat and I was doing some last minute shopping for household items. Contractions started and I got myself home (10 minutes from the store to station, 3 minute train ride and another 12 minute walk home) to check on my hospital bag and got my husband to call the hospital. We left 20 minutes after I got home with contractions 6 minutes apart. We walked (albeit slowly) to the station again and took the 25 minute train ride to my hospital where I walked another 8 minutes to get there. 21.5 hours after admission, our son was born the following afternoon.

        All this time, there was only the 2 of us and no one else from checkups, membrane rupture scares, snow storms, typhoons and heat waves. We did it, all 39 weeks and 6 days of it, just the two of us.

        My parents arrived in Japan 6 days after I delivered and helped us out here and there with no understanding of the language and no clue about taking public transportation or grocery shopping here. Dad left after 14 days, my mum left 3 days after baby’s full moon. Since then, I’ve been a full time SAHM while my husband works almost all day. In between, we went for hospital visits for checkups, grocery shopping, evening walks and arranged for home visits from the city health department. His birth was registered 12 days after he was born along with his insurance program.

        All I want to say is that, do not be discouraged, because we did it, language barrier and all. So don’t let anything hinder you.

        PS I’m also a breastfeeding mum who shed a lot of tears in the first week from pain and fatigue

        1. Wow Joy! First of all, congratulations to you and your husband on your new born baby. I’m so glad that despite all the obstacles, you guys have managed so incredibly well in a foreign country no less. While our time has not been half as difficult as yours, (I live just 5 minutes away from the hospital and we’ve got a car) my husband and I also experience pregnancy, birth and now baby caring with no help except for books and Internet. So, I can more or less relate. Here’s a fist bump for a job well done! And thank you for your word of encouragement, every time I feel low I will think of your story! :)

  2. Probably the appointment cards is a proof that you really carrying the baby..not just kidnap someone baby and claim it as yours :)

  3. The nonsense you have to go through is amazing. Stateside, the hospitals handle the paper work. There nothing like registering at a city, state or national office.

    Of course here one can slip across the border without notifying officials and live for years without a problem.

    I suppose I should ask what do you not have to inform the Malayasian government about when you do something, buy something or go someplace?

    What a mess we humans create for our fellow human kind!!

    1. Hi David, hahaha well i guess I have made it sound worse than it really was. Don’t really have to inform the government much unless for birth and death for reasons I can fathom. But yeah, what a mess!

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