Baru Bian: Window for stateless individuals to apply for citizenship shouldn’t be limited to a year


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 16 Dec 2020

KUCHING: The window for stateless individuals to apply for citizenship should not be limited to one year in view of the communications and transport problems in Sarawak's remote areas, says Selangau MP Baru Bian (pic).

The Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) lawmaker said transport issues made it difficult for those in rural areas to obtain proper documentation and evidence such as birth certificates.

"Getting births registered with the government is impossible for many. This has caused their children and grandchildren to be labelled as non-Malaysians, as their parents or grandparents have no citizenship papers.

"The government needs to have a better understanding of the difficulties faced by stateless persons, especially the elderly, and offer compassionate solutions," he said in a statement Wednesday (Dec 16).

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin had said on Monday (Dec 14) that his ministry was giving stateless persons one year to apply for citizenship with proper documentation.

He told Parliament that the mechanism would be announced soon and urged those who had not registered to do so as soon as possible.

Baru welcomed the announcement but said the ministry needed to consider pertinent issues, including accepting statements from community leaders as evidence in citizenship applications.

"Statements from state representatives and MPs of these individuals should also be accepted as supporting documents in their applications," he said.

In addition, he said the ministry's standard operating procedure and latest requirements should be sent down to the district level in rural areas to ensure clarity.

"In many instances, the officers on the ground are not aware of the latest decisions by the ministry or Cabinet," he said.

Baru also called on the ministry to process the citizenship applications of stateless former border scouts Basar Arun, Joseph Pengiran, Kademus Liling, Basar Paru, Tabed Raru, Baranabas Palong @ Branabas, and Sia Lupang @ Sia Lopong without delay (see links below).

He said they were not eligible to receive pensions or allowances from the government as they were not recognised as citizens.

"Having served the nation in their youth, these elderly former border scouts deserve to live out their lives with peace of mind.

"The least the government can do is to legitimise their status as Malaysians in their old age," he said.

Earlier stories:

Soldiers made nation what it is but remain as outsiders

Heroes with no home

Still stateless despite the sacrifices

Give us our Mykad, say ageing former Sarawak border defenders

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In Nation

Jho Low files defence in 1MDB civil action, says he was never in a position of influence
Johor polls: It's just an excuse to axe Bersatu from state govt, says former exco
Fight breaks out after pet dog gets run over
RCI to investigate Tabung Haji in progress, says Wan Junaidi
Singapore High Commissioner hopes to see VTL quota increased soon
Little opportunity left to save Malayan tigers, says conservation group
Bill limiting PM's term to 10 years to be tabled at next Parliament meeting
Najib gets May 20 deadline to apply for appointment of Queen's Counsel
Malaysia gets first shipment of 624,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses for children
Wan Junaidi: Govt may revive dedicated law ministry, but pros and cons must be reviewed

Others Also Read


Vouchers