Claims on the number of stateless Indians may be overstated


KUANTAN: The response to the Mega MyDaftar campaign does not tally with the claims of “hundreds of thousand” of stateless Indians in the country.

Prime Minister’s Department Special Implementation Task Force (SITF) manager G.K. Anandan said only 1,813 individuals – of various races – turned up so far to resolve documentation issues.

Of the total, 795 were applications for identification documents while the rest were inquiries since the campaign kicked off on June 5.

“One of the aims of the campaign is to conclude once and for all whether there are hundreds of thousands of stateless Indians as claimed.

“There has been a continuous effort to help register Indians with documentation issues since 2011, but the figure thus far just doesn’t match up to the claims that there are 300,000 to 450,000 Indians who do not possess MyKad and birth certificates,” Anandan said.

He was speaking to reporters after visiting the roadshow here with National Registration Depart­ment director-general Datuk Mohd Yazid Ramli yesterday.

“The Indian population in Malaysia is about 2.1 million.

“To say that there are at least 14% of Indians who are stateless just does not seem possible,” said Anandan.

He said the Mega MyDaftar campaign, to go on until Thursday, had been advertised widely on newspapers and social media.

Information is also spread through community leaders.

“We do not deny there are cases of people born in the country who have documentation problems, but the thing is the Government should not be solely blamed for it.

“The problem stems from awareness and social issues.

“Some may be born out of wedlock and they ended up not registered by their parents, and the problem continues for two to three more generations,” he said.

Anandan stressed that until and unless these people come forward, the Government would not be able to help them.

He said some 7,000 out of the 12,000 cases received previously were already resolved, while the rest were being processed.

He said the full data would be presented by SITF chairman Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam at the end of the campaign.

Mohd Yazid said deliberation on registrations under the Mega MyDaftar programme would be conducted according to provisions under the Federal Constitution and related rules and regulations.

He urged parents to register their children at birth.

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