An unusual case has been reported where a man had been registered as anonymous for over 40 years.

The man in question is Mahat Ismail, a native of the Sabah state of Malaysia.

Mahat revealed that his anonymity tag continued for 40 years as his birth certificate recorded him as 'No Name'.

"I asked my father, who was working at that hospital, why my birth certificate says that I am 'no name?" he revealed.

"He told me that on that day, he was busy working, running errands and had forgotten to register my name.

"So the registrar just filled in my name as 'no name', and when my father collected the birth certificate he was surprised but did not do anything."

Mahat's no name plight came to focus recently when the case was presented before the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI), which held an inquiry on illegal immigrants at the Kota Kinabalu High Court.

For 65 year-old Mahat, recognition came when he changed the name in his birth certificate around the 1980s to apply for his passport.

However, according to authorities the 'no name' case is not uncommon in Sabah as proper enquiry might surface in many such cases of people registered as 'No Name'.

RCI commissioner Tan Sri Herman Luping said, "I know a man who had his name in the birth certificate written as 'no name' and he is now a prominent politician, and also a woman who has since passed away."

Another officer Jamil Aripin added there were many of the older generation who also do not have birth certificates.