PETALING JAYA: The Home Ministry should be more responsive to the plight of stateless people while also taking a compassionate stand by not appealing the decisions of the courts which favour the applicants, says Baru Bian.
The Ba’Kelalan assemblyman said it was the duty of the ministry to assist these groups and not let their applications go unanswered or rejected without proper reasoning.
“Stateless people obtain their status through no fault of their own while also suffering hardships that the rest of us do not even realise.
“Additionally, not every stateless person is able to have their cases highlighted by the media while many others are unable to afford taking their cases to court,” he said in a statement on Friday (Jan 21).
Bian said there were many in east Malaysia who were faced with the same predicament.
“A large majority know who their parents are but they are stateless because it is difficult for their parents who lived remotely to register their children’s birth in nearby towns,” he said.
Bian said he also actively tried assisting many in his constituency facing the same predicament but the general response to these applications have been slow.
“I hope that the government will review the way they assess applications for citizenships while also being more open to approving such applications,” he said.
He also welcomed the recent decision of the Court of Appeal, which ruled that Wong Kueng Hui, 27, who was born in Sabah to a Sarawakian father and a mother believed to be from Indonesia, was entitled to Malaysian citizenship.
Another case highlighted in the media recently was of Rohanna Abdullah who was abandoned by her Indonesian mother and brought up by a Chinese teacher had come to light in the news.
Rohanna had tried applying for citizenship but did not receive any responses from the ministry.
Following this, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob stepped in to express his commitment to assist her.