KOTA KINABALU, 18 August 2016: Despite scoring 4As in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), Jerwin Chong Yie, 18, was denied further education in Form 6 because he does not have an identity card.
Jerwin was born to a Malaysian father Chong Vui Hsung, 50, and Filipino mother Jennifer Loping Sausa, 52.
However, Chong and Jennifer only registered their marriage a month after their son was born.
Under such circumstances, the status of the mother determines the status of the child.
Without identification card and Malaysian citizenship, Jerwin was rejected when he tried to apply into Form 6.
“When my son was 12, I took him to apply for an identification card.
“I was told that I must change his birth certificate to a new one in order to apply for the identification card.
“But when the new birth certificate was issued, we still cannot apply for the identification card.
“The National Registration Department (NRD) said the status of my son could only follow that of his mother’s.”
Jerwin was one of the 10 families who went to bring the matter up to Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) Sabah here yesterday, all facing similar predicaments. The families were brought there by Sabah People’s Rights Association president Lee Pun Yee.
The same sentiment was shared by Ho Oi Loi, who saw his son, Vincent Ho Vun Fah missing out on Social Security Organization (Socso) protection and Employees Provident Fund (EPF) because of the latter’s non-citizenship status.
Ho and his Indonesia wife only registered their marriage five months after their son was born in 1996.
Meanwhile, sisters Lili Indah Sari binti Irwan, 44, and Paulina binti Irawan, 40, both Indonesian Chinese, have been waiting for a blue MyKad (Malaysian citizen) for more than 30 years.
Lili and Paulina had moved to Malaysia from Kalimantan with their parents in the 1980s at the age of 11 and 10 respectively.
Both the sisters had their education in Tawau and now have children, who are all Malaysian citizens.
However, the sisters still hold temporary resident identification cards (green IC).
Lili said having a green identification card was akin to third class IC, and also narrowed her job opportunities despite being equally competent.
Due to their citizenship status, the sisters also have to fork out RM 1 million if they wish to buy a house in Malaysia.
The sisters have been applying for Entry Permits since 2000 in order for them to be qualified for permanent residency.
“When I receive my MyKad, I will continue my study. I had studied for a year in a college but had to discontinue due to my citizenship status,” Lili said.
On the other hand, sisters Wong Jee Suan, 40, Wong Jee Chen, 39, and Wong Jee Too, 34, all born in Brunei, have yet to receive their MyKads despite their two brothers being Malaysian citizens.
“Our mother is a Sarawakian and father a Hong Kongese.
“We tried to apply (for MyKad) in Sarawak but were rejected.”
The sisters have been applying for Malaysian citizenships since the 1990s.
Meanwhile, Lee said the association would write to the Home Ministry today to seek a meeting with the minister in September this year to resolve these issues.
“We have written to the Home Ministry in June but have not received a reply.
“I sympathize with the children. How are they going to be when they reach 21 years old?
“They cannot even go back to the Philippines or Indonesia because they are not the citizens of those countries.
“If they stay in Malaysia, they have no income tax and Socso because they are not Malaysians.”