Kua: Stop playing football with citizenship

Source: FMT News


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

Refugees’ right to work – Aslam Abd Jalil

Source: The Star Online


MALAYSIA is not a state party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, and so it does not recognise refugee status or provide rights for refugees, including employment rights.

Despite that, refugees have been working in the informal sector all this while to survive, and Malaysian authorities turn a blind eye. They are mostly unskilled labourers who work in 3D sectors. There are also refugees with professional qualifications.

Without employment rights, refugees are often exploited and abused. The issue of employment rights for refugees also affects employers who hire them.

In 2013, the Malaysian Government announced that it would issue work permits and provide training for refugees living in Malaysia, but this plan did not materialise.

Recently, the Home Minister again announced that thousands of Rohingya who have been granted refugee status by UNHCR would be able to take up employment opportunities in sectors that are “appropriate, safe and easily monitored by the authorities” through a pilot project.

There are articles and sections in existing Malaysian laws, and the international conventions and declarations that Malaysia signed, that are supposed to make it legal for refugees to gain employment rights.

Both citizens and non-citizens are entitled to rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution. This includes the right to be engaged in lawful and gainful employment.

Article 8 (1) of the Federal Con­sti­tution says that “All persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law”. Read more