Tackle stateless people issue now, lawyers’ group tells govt

Source: FMT News

Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen says applications for citizenship hampered by administration obstacles and burdensome requirements. Pic taken from FMT News.

Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen says applications for citizenship hampered by administration obstacles and burdensome requirements. Pic taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) says the government must re-look its citizenship policies to address the issue of statelessness, especially among children.

Saying some policies had rendered thousands of rightful Malaysians stateless, the human rights group hit out at what it called “a serious lack of concern by the government and its agencies on these issues”.

“There is no genuine effort to register the affected communities, nor is there any special procedure to facilitate their registration despite knowing the context of the individual cases,” LFL executive director Eric Paulsen said in a statement today.

He added that applications were usually hampered by administrative obstacles, burdensome requirements and long delays. The people in question were also required to make repeat visits, eventually leading to rejection.

The group’s statement follows a Court of Appeal decision yesterday, dismissing separate bids for citizenship by two boys born in Malaysia. Read more

Court rejects two Malaysia-born boys’ citizenship bids, insists statelessness unproven

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The Court of Appeal has ruled Lim Jen Hsian's six-year-old son could not be granted citizenship despite being born in Malaysia. — Picture by Choo Choy May

The Court of Appeal has ruled Lim Jen Hsian’s six-year-old son could not be granted citizenship despite being born in Malaysia. — Picture by Choo Choy May

PUTRAJAYA, March 16 ― The Court of Appeal today dismissed separate bids for citizenship by two boys born in Malaysia, after ruling that they failed to prove they were stateless or were not citizens of other countries.

In the case of Malaysian Lim Jen Hsian’s six-year-old son, the Court of Appeal ruled the child could not be granted citizenship despite being born in Malaysia.

“There is no dispute that documentary evidence confirms the second appellant was born after Malaysia Day in the federation on October 6, 2010 at Hospital Tung Shin ― this fulfills the requirement of jus soli under Article 14(1)(b) or (Clause) 1(e).

“However the issue is also whether or not he has satisfied the requirement that he is not born a citizen of any other country under Article 14(1)(b),” Court of Appeal judge Datuk Badariah Sahamid said when reading out the brief grounds of judgment, referring to the boy as the second appellant.

Both Lim and his son had jointly filed their legal challenge in 2014 to, among others, obtain the child’s citizenship, based on the Federal Constitution’s Article 14(1)(b) read together with the Constitution’s Second Schedule’s Part II’s Clause 1(e) that give citizenship to every person who are born in Malaysia and who is not born a citizen of any country. Read more

DPM announces panel to document stateless Chinese in Sarawak

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUCHING, February 3 — A special mobile task force will be formed to register stateless Sarawakian Chinese with the aim of granting them Malaysian citizenship, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today.

He said the state National Registration Department will gather information on the stateless Sarawakian Chinese and make the necessary recommendations on those who meet the criteria to be citizens.

“We need to address this long outstanding problem of the stateless Chinese, who are born in Sarawak, once and for all,” he said at the Chinese New Year celebration with the Chinese community here.

“They are qualified to be Malaysian citizens under the Federal Constitution, if they are born and brought up in the state,” Ahmad Zahid, who is also the home minister, said when responding to a call from Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, earlier. Read more

Kua: Stop playing football with citizenship

Source: FMT News

kua-kia-soong_rakyat_malaysia_6001

Suaram calls for an end to ‘sickening spectacle’ of token non-Malays granted citizenship at election time.

PETALING JAYA: The Federal Government was criticised today for “playing political football” with citizenship by granting citizenship to “a token group’ of non-Malay residents just to fish for votes during elections.

The human rights group Suaram, in a statement today, called for the release of statistics on the number of stateless Malaysian residents, by ethnic group, and the length of time they had been living in Malaysia.

“The government should also give us a cogent explanation for why these Malaysians, who have lived in this country for more than 10 years, have not been given citizenship.”

Suaram adviser Kua Kia Soong said the press had recently highlighted the case of a 100-year-old Malaysian Chinese woman being finally given citizenship after being resident for decades, and that of a Malaysian Chinese restaurateur who had been in the country for more than 40 years.

“Were they expected to be grateful to the Barisan Nasional (BN) government for finally getting their citizenship or should they be angry at the BN government for depriving them of the citizenship they deserved many years ago?” he said. Read more

I belong here too – Azrul Mohd Khalib

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY AZRUL MOHD KHALIB

DECEMBER 30 ― As we go about celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of another, it is sobering to be reminded of at least 12,000 people in Malaysia who have yet to be recognised as citizens of a country.

Despite more than half a decade since Merdeka and the formation of Malaysia, thousands of people, from infants to adults, have been and continue to be left out of their right to Malaysian citizenship.

For the past week, DHRRA (Development of Rural Resources in Rural Areas) Malaysia and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) have held a photo exhibition at Publika White Box highlighting the issue of statelessness in Malaysia and around the world.

Ending today, the exhibition presents a powerful narrative of lost childhoods, missed opportunities, discrimination, endless frustration and a lifetime of despair.  Read more