I have been following bits and pieces of the late Teoh Beng Hock’s case and an issue of concern to me, besides others, is that his unborn child will not be able to carry his name due to the protocol and procedure of the NRD.
Apparently, the NRD needs the marriage certificate of the parents to register the child with his or her father’s surname and failing that, the father needs to be physically present during the registration. Obviously in this case, neither can happen. The birth certificate will then only reflect the mother’s name and no father’s name, and being a Chinese, the child will carry the mother’s surname.
I feel that this is a big injustice, not only to Mr Teoh and his family and his fiancee, but also to the child later on. He or she will forever live with the stigma that he or she has no named father, and not only that, a big part of his or her identity will be missing. He or she will never know who his or her father is and the circumstances surrounding his death.
I think it is so important to the child to know what his or her father went through, the injustice of his death and how something like this should never be repeated.
Perhaps there is nothing we can do to change the law or the provisions in it, but perhaps we should let ourselves be heard on the issue.