Give Stateless Kids A Future, Lawyers Group Tells Government

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Lawyers for Liberty has urged the home ministry to resolve the problem of stateless children as their futures are at stake.

Human rights lawyer N Surendran said such cases had been occurring for a long time, yet nothing had been done.

Speaking at a press conference on the wrongful denial of citizenship to young Malaysians, he said there were many children who were born in Malaysia but had been denied their fundamental rights by the government, including the National Registration Department (JPN) and the home ministry.

“Under the Federal Constitution, the children are entitled to citizenship, but their rights have been denied.

“The authorities have breached the law by not following the provision under the Federal Constitution,” he said today. Read more

Double celebration for those granted citizenship

Source: The Star

KUCHING: It will be a double celebration this Chinese New Year for Kueh Meng Liang as he was finally granted citizenship after seven years of waiting.

The 19-year-old had submitted his first application in 2011 but was rejected by the National Registration Department.

Over the years, Meng Liang resubmitted again several more times but all his applications were unsuccessful due to absence of supporting documents.

One of the reasons was that the teenager never knew who his biological parents were.

They left him under the care of his 70-year-old grandmother before he was adopted by Kueh Siak Hock.

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Govt urged to relax citizenship laws

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Sungai Siput MP Michael Jeyakumar has urged the government to amend the laws that prevent the granting of citizenship to thousands of stateless children.

Speaking to FMT, he noted that most of the affected children came from marginalised working class families and the problem they faced had much to do with strict rules imposed by the government under various laws.

He said his party, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), had brought many cases to the government’s attention, “but until changes are made by those at the top, nothing can be resolved.”

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The plight of the stateless in Malaysia — Eric Paulsen

Source: Free Malaysia Today

By Eric Paulsen

Of all the tragedies to befall the stateless community in Malaysia, perhaps the greatest one is that they are treated as little more than a political gimmick, a useful way to earn votes as election season swings around.

In May 2017, with the 14th General Election around the corner, MIC President Dr. S Subramaniam announced the Mega MyDaftar campaign to reach out to undocumented citizens of Indian descent. The campaign ran from 3 to 26 June 2017, and received some 2500 applications.

Whilst the initiative on its own is commendable, there are obvious questions to be asked. Why was this project launched by Dr S. Subramaniam (he is the Minister of Health) and supported by MIC when the citizenship registration exercise should be the mundane day-to-day job of the National Registration Department (NRD).

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Suhakam: Stop imposing conditions on stateless kids entering schools

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: The Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) has criticised the government for still imposing conditions on stateless children wanting to enter public schools.

Suhakam chief Razali Ismail said the position taken by the government is severe and detrimental to such children.

He was referring to the statement by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on Jan 11 that only stateless children whose citizenship applications are pending will be allowed to enrol in government schools.

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Siblings thrilled to resume school

Source: The Star

BUTTERWORTH: The school bell rang, signalling the start of class, and excitement soon filled the eyes of V. Agilandaiswary, 12, and her sister V. Thuranayagi, 11, in SJK (T) Mak Mandin here.

The sisters are finally back in school, resuming their studies with friends and preparing for examinations after getting their temporary permit from the Education Department.

The siblings, as well as their brother V. Suria, 13, who is now studying in SM Mak Mandin, have not been attending school since the new term started because they have been listed as “non-citizens” in their birth certificates.

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Muslim couples, single parents seek to intervene in ‘Abdullah’ appeal

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Twenty couples and two single parents have filed an intervener application to be made parties in a Federal Court appeal that will decide whether a Muslim child conceived out of wedlock can take his or her father’s surname instead of “Abdullah”.

The applicants, who are from Johor, Melaka, Selangor, Perlis and Pahang, filed their legal papers on Dec 14 but their identities could not be revealed due to the sensitivity of the issue.

Lawyer Lokman Hakim, who is appearing for the applicants, said they wanted to participate in the case as the court’s outcome would have an effect on their children.

He said a 2003 fatwa issued by the National Fatwa Committee that an illegitimate child (“anak tak sah taraf”) should not be given the surname (“tidak boleh dinasabkan”) of the father or the person claiming to be the father was invalid.

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School defied minister’s instructions, says child welfare society

Suriana Welfare Society says only education ministry can allow children to attend school without citizenship.

picture of young girl

PETALING JAYA: A children’s welfare organisation has criticised the actions of a school in Negeri Sembilan which prevented a Year One child from attending class as she did not possess a passport. Pic drawn from Free Malaysia Today

The Suriana Welfare Society, which comprises charitable and welfare organisations, said the school had defied the recent instructions given by the education minister to allow children without citizenship to attend school.

“If the minister’s instructions were taken into account and taken seriously, these children would not be in this current situation,” said the organisation’s leader, Scott J Wong.

On Jan 6, Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid said children without citizenship could attend school even though their citizenship applications were still being processed.

However, in the first week of school, a seven-year-old girl in Seremban was barred from attending based on a new policy by the Immigration Department, as she did not have a passport.

Her family had adopted her legally and was awaiting approval for the citizenship application.

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Court allows three Malaysia-born boys to continue final citizenship bid

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The Palace of Justice in Putrajaya – File pix

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 11 — Three Malaysia-born children were today allowed to pursue their final bid to be recognised as citizens instead of continuing their lives as stateless persons.

The Federal Court granted leave for the three boys to proceed with their appeal against the Court of Appeal’s previous rulings to uphold the government’s decisions to deny them citizenship.

Justice Tan Sri Hasan Lah, who led the Federal Court panel today, had earlier noted that there was a Court of Appeal ruling which was different from the decision in the three cases today.

“Because there are conflicting decisions in the lower court on this issue, settle it once and for all,” he said during the hearing for leave to appeal. Read more

Stateless children outnumber population of Perlis, says DAP MP

Source: FMT News

BUTTERWORTH: A DAP MP has proposed that a public roundtable be held to resolve the problem of stateless children in the country.

Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching said the core problem was the “standard operating procedures” by the National Registration Department (NRD) which only gives out citizenship to children whose parents are legally married.

She said this should not be the case as the Federal Constitution states citizenship must be given to a person born with at least one Malaysian parent.

“The roundtable will be open to all political parties, BN or MIC, and all non-governmental organisations to resolve the problem.

“The numbers are growing year-on-year and it is worrying,” Teo said at a forum on stateless children organised by Batu Kawan MP Kasthuriraani Patto in Juru here yesterday. Read more