STATELESS individuals have been asked to come forward to apply for citizenship within a year.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said the government wanted to resolve the matter to ensure that deserving people got their citizenship.
“We gained our independence in 1957, but there are people aged 63 who come to me saying they still don’t have citizenship.
“There is no logic in this.
“So, I will give one year for everyone with proper documentation and evidence to register so that we can consider them legal citizens, ” he said in his winding-up speech of the ministry’s budget.
Hamzah added that if the matter was not resolved soon, it would likely cause more problems in the future.
“We must understand something. We love our country but if we place the blame solely on (National Registration Department) officers, why shouldn’t we blame ourselves as well (for not taking the necessary steps to register)?
“I will announce the mechanism on the matter soon. However, those who have not registered should do so as soon as possible, ” Hamzah said.
He added that individuals facing such a problem could meet their Members of Parliament to help resolve the issue.
On reports that a terror attack was being planned in India by a Malaysia-based group linked to preacher Dr Zakir Naik, he said the police would cooperate with enforcement agencies from other countries.
“If they need anything from us, they would notify us. So far, there has been no official report from them.
“Once we receive it, we will ensure that the necessary action will be taken, ” he said.
Earlier, Ramkarpal Singh (PH-Bukit Gelugor) had asked the Home Ministry for measures taken over the reports, which alleged that Zakir and Rohingya refugees in Malaysia were involved in plotting the attack.