Could a permanent national task force resolve Malaysia’s stateless problem?

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Human rights lawyer Honey Tan said the authorities’ discretionary nature of granting citizenship poses a 'big challenge'. — File picture by Choo Choy May

Human rights lawyer Honey Tan said the authorities’ discretionary nature of granting citizenship poses a ‘big challenge’. — File picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 — The federal government should set up permanent task forces in every state in Malaysia to ensure stateless children with genuine cases are recognised as citizens, a lawyer has proposed.

Simon Siah said the federal government would from time to time announce the formation of task forces to register stateless children, but noted that these task forces are only “temporary measures” and that most people didn’t even know they exist, let alone how to approach them.

He noted that there is currently a task force in Sarawak to help register stateless children and to assist the Home Ministry by providing recommendations after the National Registration Department (NRD) officials investigate such claims, but noted it will only run until year end.

“Such move is a move in the right direction but I would suggest that the Task Force to be made permanent so that each State under the ministry of women and children can assist to ensure that genuine application are approved and these children are given an identity as a Malaysian,” he added. Read more