Registration of stateless folk moved to February

THE much-awaited National Registration Department (NRD) mobile counter for stateless folk in Sibu to apply for personal documents has been rescheduled from Jan 15 to 17 to Feb 16 to 18.

The venue is still at Zoobie Restaurant, opposite Bukit Aup Jubilee Park in Jalan Quarry.

The first day on Jan 15 will be for those from rural areas such as Long Singut, Engkilili, Lubok Antu, Sungai Asap, Sri Aman, Betong and Bakalalan, followed by those from Sibu, Sarikei and Bintangor for the following two days; Jan 16 and 17.

Bill Jugah, chairman of Sarawak Dayak Iban Association Rajang branch, which organised the event with the National Registration Department (NRD), said the postponed was unavoidable due to the high number of Covid-19 cases.

“An officer from NRD contacted me and we agreed to reschedule the event as Covid-19 cases were still very high in the state, ” he said.

Jugah had previously forwarded 200 cases of stateless people but the number had swelled to over 500 now.

“NRD is aware of the problem but they need data to know the severity of the problem in the state.

“Once they obtain the data, they will decide on the number of mobile counters to be set up and officers needed from the relevant agencies on that day, ” he said.

Jugah said he had also written to the Sarawak Education Ministry as well as Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah that stateless children should not be denied education.

“I have told them that stateless children have the right to education too. Some of these children, though born in Sarawak, are being asked to pay a yearly fee of RM120 to attend school, ” he said.

Jugah also advised the public not to hit out at the NRD over the stateless children issue as it was doing its best to overcome the problem.

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