SIBU: The plight of 38 stateless children at Destiny for Children Centre has caught the attention of Welfare, Women and Community Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah.
Fatimah, who met the management of the centre on Tuesday, advised it to seek Home Ministry’s approval for the children’s citizenships by applying to the National Registration Department (NRD).
“On Aug 15, I went to see the Home Minister as he is the only one who can grant citizenship. As a result of that meeting, the NRD has formed a taskforce for Sarawak to help locals below 21 years old in Sabah and Sarawak apply for birth certificate. The programme is effective from 2016 to 2017,” she added.
Fatimah said the ministry would handle the applications on case-by-case basis and only genuine ones would be accepted.
Destiny for Children Centre, which was formed in 2012 by an association led by Chris Tang Tiong Hin, provides education from pre-school level to Standard 4 to children who could not enrol in primary schools. This is mainly because of poverty or not having relevant documents such as birth certificates.
The centre currently has a total of 86 children.