SIBU: Stateless people squatting at the Jalan Seng Ling sanitary landfill had a happy surprise recently when National Registration Department (NRD) officers came all the way from Kuching to process their applications for personal documents.
A team of about 10 officials went to the squatter area to help them process their identity card and birth certificate forms.
There are about 100-odd people from 23 families squatting at the landfill site.
Most of them are jobless, while their children are not schooling as they are stateless.
Three of the families have been staying there for 20 years while the rest, between two and three years. They were from Kapit, Bintangor, Bawang Assan, Oya, and Kanowit. The place is not only filthy and notconducive for dwelling but is also a mosquito breeding ground.
On Oct 12, 2018, state Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah, at the request of Bukit Assek assemblyman Irene Chang and Pelawan assemblyman David Wong, visited the site to help the squatters.
The Welfare Department approved the families application for monthly financial aid.
Wong told StarMetro that the processing of identity card and birth certificate for the squatters by NRD officials is the first step that would eventually qualify them to stay in state land.
“The exercise on March 20 involved 17 of the squatters. It covered those who had lost their identity cards, and those without a birth certificate,” he said.
An Iban community leader was also there to act as a witness so that only those qualified could have their applications for personal documents processed.
On the exercise to relocate them, Wong said he would bring up the matter at the State Legislative Assembly sitting next month.
“The state government must address this issue by finding land to relocate them at either in Jalan Kemuyang or along the airport road.
“We also have squatter problems in Bintulu and Miri which the government should look into,” he added.