S’wak urges faster citizenship approval for adopted kids

At last: Awang Afferoz (right) presenting the citizenship document to Yusuf (left) for his daughter Mikayla, witnessed by Fatimah, at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly complex. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KUCHING: Four-year-old Mikayla Hanna is now a Malaysian citizen after a three-year wait for her application to be approved.

Mikayla was stateless when she was adopted by Yusuf Kamil, 34, and Nuridzyan Syazwani Ja’afar, 33, at the age of one.

The couple applied for her citizenship under Article 15A of the Federal Constitution in September 2019.

“We followed up constantly with the National Registration Department (NRD) through calls and emails so that the application would be expedited.

“We’re very happy that it has been approved after three years,” said Yusuf, adding that it would now be easier to send Mikayla to school.

He was talking to the press after receiving the citizenship document from state NRD director Awang Afferoz Awang Marikan at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly complex here yesterday.

State Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah, who witnessed the handover, called for citizenship applications for adopted children to be sped up.

Her ministry had received 60 applications for temporary documents for stateless individuals since Nov 1, she added.

“The temporary documents will allow them to have access to education and healthcare as they wait for their citizenship applications to be approved.

“This is important because we believe that every child has the right to education,” she said.

The state government had decided earlier this year to issue temporary documents to those aged 21 and below while they awaited Malaysian citizenship, which is under the Federal Government’s jurisdiction.

Applicants are required to have a birth certificate issued in Sarawak and must have applied for citizenship under Article 15A of the Federal Constitution.

Successful applicants will be issued the temporary document, which will be valid for two years.

Fatimah said her ministry would conduct an outreach programme on the temporary document application next month.

It will kick off at the community social support centre here on Dec 2 before going to Sepupok, Niah (Dec 8), Lawas (Dec 10) and Sibu (Dec 12).

“These are areas where there is a substantial number of stateless children. Through this outreach programme, we want to enable them to have access to education during the new school term starting in March,” she said.

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Nation

Contractor pleads guilty to using false documents to obtain RM1.7mil tender
Higher education leaders need to be forward looking, agile and adaptable, says Perak Ruler
Tawau court expected to charge woman and six police officers with murder
Lorry driver pleads guilty to damaging ATM in Lukut, gets RM1,200 fine
SAR ops for missing army commando resumes in Melaka
Port Dickson court fines two loan shark agents RM3,000 for intimidation, five months jail
Sentosa Perdana residents see no end to litterbugs in their community
14-year-old girl missing in Ipoh, family say she's been gone since mid-December
Radical measures to spur the economy to be presented in Budget 2023, says PM
Foreign embassies not authorised to issue temporary visit pass for citizens to remain in Malaysia

Others Also Read