SUNGAI Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj is offering to assist individuals whose application for citizenship remain unknown even after the two-year processing period has passed.
Dr Michael, who had in the Parliament sitting in May raised the issue of successful applicants not receiving letters from the National Registration Department (NRD), said he would accompany them to the NRD in Putrajaya to check the status of their applications.
“Two years ago, a youth approached me for help in this matter.
“At the Ipoh NRD, we were told that the application was still being processed but when we went to Putrajaya, we found out that the application was already approved a year before that,” Dr Michael told reporters in Ipoh on Saturday.
Prompted by the youth’s case, Dr Michael said he later raised the matter in Parliament but the Home Ministry denied there were any hiccups in notifying the 2,575 individuals who had been granted citizenship.
“According to Deputy Home Minister Datuk Masir Kujat, the question of applicants not receiving their notification letters does not arise as the letters are sent to addresses as stated by applicants in their forms.
“The deputy minister also said the onus is on the applicants to notify the department if there are changes to their postal addresses and they can always call the department’s hotline or email to check on the status of their applications,” Dr Michael said.
“My proposal for the NRD to set up a website with a list of names of successful and unsuccessful applications to allow people to verify their status was shot down,” he added.
According to Dr Michael, the majority of such applicants were from the lower-income group and were also uneducated as a result of not being allowed to attend government school.
“It’s a vicious cycle. Without education, they cannot gain employment and are denied Malaysian Social Security Organisation (Socso) and Employees Provident Fund (EPF) benefits.
“Without their citizenship, they are also not entitled to healthcare benefits and the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M).
“And they end up being poorer from one generation to another,” he said.
“Those whose applications were submitted prior to June 2014 and have yet to hear from the NRD can contact me and my team and we will set a time to meet in Putrajaya.
“If there is need for them to fulfil further requirements such as taking a blood test and providing extra documents, we will also assist them,” he added.
A breakdown provided by the ministry shows that of the 2,575 individuals, 636 had applied for citizenship in Sabah, 435 in Selangor, 294 in Johor, 246 in Putrajaya and 178 in Perak.
The largest number of applicants are of Indonesian ethnicity (710 people), followed by Chinese (408), Indian (338), Thai (206), and Filipino (176).
Dr Michael can be reached at 019-561 6807. Alternatively, call 017-490 0851 (Ramesh), 012-555 5507 (Veera) or 016-591 0564 (Nagen).