Stateless citizens on the rise


  • Community
  • Thursday, 13 Dec 2012

MIRI: More and more people, including entire families who have no personal documents, have been uncovered living in the city.

Those from Sabah have also been making the city their home.

Foreigners have also given birth to children here and their children have become stateless as a result.

Assistant Communications Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin uncovered this sad state of affairs after calling for an all-out sweep to help resolve documentation woes.

He said more than 100 stateless people had been uncovered so far.

The Senadin assemblyman went to the National Registration Department (NRD) headquarters yesterday and spoke to its Miri head Mohamed Sarkawi.

“SUPP and church groups are finding new cases regularly of late. There are those from rural areas who have no birth certificates or MyKads who have come to live in Miri. Their children also do not have personal documents.

“We have also found cases of stateless people from Sabah.

“Some of them gave birth to children in Miri and these kids do not have personal documents.

“We have also found cases of foreigners living inthe city.

“I am surprised how these illegals, especially from outside Sarawak, managed to enter Miri and end up living here,” he said.

“The problem is serious. We have to really come up with a practical and humane solution to resolve the woes of these stateless people or else it is going to create enormous social repercussions in the years ahead.”

“I may have to speak to the Home Minister (Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein) about these cases.

“I am worried that there are many more cases yet to be found. We are staring at a big problem here,” Lee said after bringing four stateless children to the NRD office to get some forms processed.

Lee had earlier this month found several stateless teenagers while launching the Christmas Bazaar at Civic Centre.

They are from the Pujut squatter colony.

The Piasau Baptist church and SUPP are helping them now.

Lee had called on the NRD to carry out another round of mobile registration to find and help more of these folk.

Since then, more cases had been found in the city and also in the sub-districts of Suai and Niah.

“We have also found that there are some students who cannot sit for public exams because they have no personal documents.

“There have been cases of entire families without such documents. If these people produce more children, the problem will multiple and become even more difficult to solve.

“Social problems will escalate if these stateless people end up setting up more squatter homes. If they cannot find proper jobs, security problems may arise,” he stressed.

The NRD, SUPP and church groups are compiling a comprehensive list and will present it to the Home Ministry soon, he added.


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