Federal Court hearing for five stateless individual cases reconvenes

Source: The Malay Mail

MMO infographic on 5 statelessness cases

KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 — The Federal Court has deferred hearing five cases where five Malaysia-born persons want recognition as citizens, as the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) has asked for time to seek new instructions from the Home Ministry on how to proceed.

Senior federal counsel Suzana Atan, who represented the government and Ministry of Home Affairs, today told the court that the AGC was seeking an “adjournment for all matters pending fresh instructions from the Ministry of Home Affairs”.

The Federal Court’s five-man panel, which was chaired by Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop, granted an adjournment of the hearing.

The other judges on the panel today are Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed, Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim and Tan Sri Aziah Ali.

The hearing has now been fixed for July 23 and July 24.

Today was initially fixed for hearing of the five cases after it was rescheduled from May 30 and May 31, and also after several adjournments previously.

Earlier before the fixing of new hearing dates, lawyers for the stateless individuals today told the court that they were ready to go on with the hearing.

Datuk Cyrus Das, one of the lawyers for two of the cases, said his clients wanted the case to go on.

“I think to say that to take instructions from the Ministry of Home Affairs is too broad, they need to be more specific.

“In respect of some of the families, it’s a matter of some urgency because the children concerned are of age, 17 or 18 which they need a passport to travel abroad when the occasion arises,” he said, adding that they would also be at the age when they would need driving licences.

“Some of them do not know they are adopted, so there’s an internal family situation — how do you explain (that) you cannot do all these things?…We have the families’ instruction to proceed,” said Cyrus, who is representing the parents of two stateless Malaysia-born boys aged 16 and 17 this year.

Lawyer Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, who represented two stateless persons who are turning eight and 20 this year, left it up to the court to decide whether or not to proceed with hearing today.

He told judges that the lawyers will be making a representation to the Home Ministry for his clients’ citizenship.

Lawyer Ranee Sreedharan, whose 13-year-old client successfully won her citizenship bid in the Court of Appeal but was brought to the apex court when the government appealed, also indicated readiness for the hearing today.

“We are of the same position, if the court would like to hear the case, we are ready to proceed,” she told the court, adding that her clients would also accept if hearing was deferred.

The lawyers who held a watching brief today are Annou Xavier and Larissa Ann Louis for the Bar Council and the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), Goh Siu Lin for the Association of Women Lawyers and Sharmila Sekaran for Voice of the Children.

Lawyers Francis Pereira and Sharmini Thiruchelvam also held a watching brief for their client, an eight-year-old boy whose parents were married after his birth, who was denied citizenship.

The Court of Appeal has already heard the appeal of the eight-year-old boy’s case against the High Court’s dismissal of his citizenship bid, but will only deliver its decision after the Federal Court decides on the five cases – including Ranee’s case which is similar to his.

A representative from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was also present in court.

Related Articles:

 

PSM wants SOP change to help stateless people become Malaysians

Source: Malay Mail

Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devraj speaks to reporters at Ilham Tower in Kuala Lumpur June 27, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 — Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) urged the National Registration Department today to amend its standard operating procedure (SOP) to confer citizenship on stateless people.

PSM central committee member Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj today brought some 20 stateless persons, born and bred in Malaysia but denied their right to an identification card, to meet the Institutional Reforms Committee (IRC).

“We are asking the government enact a new SOP to approve citizenship for any children born in Malaysia, to a Malaysian father who can be identified through records like a birth certificate or DNA test.

“On top of that, the SOP needs to be amended so that all children who have been adopted for more than five years by a Malaysian family can also get citizenships,” he told reporters at Ilham Tower today. Read more

New brooms sweep clean? Lawyers for stateless want to meet Pakatan Home Minister

Source: The Malay Mail

The Palace of Justice in Putrajaya – File pix

PUTRAJAYA, June 4 — Lawyers whose clients are those born in Malaysia but stateless are seeking a meeting with new Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in hopes of securing a happy ending outside the courtroom.

The Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, which had won federal power in the May 9 general election, had promised in its manifesto to resolve the ethnic Indian community’s stateless problem within 100 days of forming government.

Lawyer Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram said an attempt will be made to meet with Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to resolve the stateless problems faced by his clients who were born in Malaysia.

“We intend to try and make a personal representation by making an appointment to see him, because we have been assured that this is a people-friendly government, that they are prepared to meet people, so we are going to test that,” he told reporters at the Palace of Justice here. Read more

Five stateless persons’ case postponed as AGC seeks Home Ministry’s instructions

Source: The Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 — The Federal Court has deferred hearing five cases where five Malaysia-born persons want recognition as citizens, as the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) has asked for time to seek new instructions from the Home Ministry on how to proceed.

Senior federal counsel Suzana Atan, who represented the government and Ministry of Home Affairs, today told the court that the AGC was seeking an “adjournment for all matters pending fresh instructions from the Ministry of Home Affairs”.

The Federal Court’s five-man panel, which was chaired by Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop, granted an adjournment of the hearing.

The other judges on the panel today are Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed, Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim and Tan Sri Aziah Ali.

The hearing has now been fixed for July 23 and July 24.

Today was initially fixed for hearing of the five cases after it was rescheduled from May 30 and May 31, and also after several adjournments previously. Read more

Postponed Federal Court hearing for five stateless individual cases

ED.  UPDATE: The Federal Court has rescheduled its hearing involving the cases of five stateless individuals who were born in Malaysia and want to be recognised as Malaysian citizens to 23 and 24 July 2018, at the request of the Attorney-General’s Chambers which is seeking instructions from the Ministry of Home Affairs. 

Source: The Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 — The Federal Court has deferred hearing five cases where five Malaysia-born persons want recognition as citizens, as the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) has asked for time to seek new instructions from the Home Ministry on how to proceed.

Senior federal counsel Suzana Atan, who represented the government and Ministry of Home Affairs, today told the court that the AGC was seeking an “adjournment for all matters pending fresh instructions from the Ministry of Home Affairs”.

The Federal Court’s five-man panel, which was chaired by Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop, granted an adjournment of the hearing.

The other judges on the panel today are Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed, Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim and Tan Sri Aziah Ali.

The hearing has now been fixed for July 23 and July 24.

Today was initially fixed for hearing of the five cases after it was rescheduled from May 30 and May 31, and also after several adjournments previously.

MMO infographic on 5 statelessness cases

Earlier before the fixing of new hearing dates, lawyers for the stateless individuals today told the court that they were ready to go on with the hearing.

Datuk Cyrus Das, one of the lawyers for two of the cases, said his clients wanted the case to go on.

“I think to say that to take instructions from the Ministry of Home Affairs is too broad, they need to be more specific.

“In respect of some of the families, it’s a matter of some urgency because the children concerned are of age, 17 or 18 which they need a passport to travel abroad when the occasion arises,” he said, adding that they would also be at the age when they would need driving licences.

“Some of them do not know they are adopted, so there’s an internal family situation — how do you explain (that) you cannot do all these things?…We have the families’ instruction to proceed,” said Cyrus, who is representing the parents of two stateless Malaysia-born boys aged 16 and 17 this year.

Lawyer Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, who represented two stateless persons who are turning eight and 20 this year, left it up to the court to decide whether or not to proceed with hearing today.

He told judges that the lawyers will be making a representation to the Home Ministry for his clients’ citizenship.

Lawyer Ranee Sreedharan, whose 13-year-old client successfully won her citizenship bid in the Court of Appeal but was brought to the apex court when the government appealed, also indicated readiness for the hearing today.

“We are of the same position, if the court would like to hear the case, we are ready to proceed,” she told the court, adding that her clients would also accept if hearing was deferred.

The lawyers who held a watching brief today are Annou Xavier and Larissa Ann Louis for the Bar Council and the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), Goh Siu Lin for the Association of Women Lawyers and Sharmila Sekaran for Voice of the Children.

Lawyers Francis Pereira and Sharmini Thiruchelvam also held a watching brief for their client, an eight-year-old boy whose parents were married after his birth, who was denied citizenship.

The Court of Appeal has already heard the appeal of the eight-year-old boy’s case against the High Court’s dismissal of his citizenship bid, but will only deliver its decision after the Federal Court decides on the five cases – including Ranee’s case which is similar to his.

A representative from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was also present in court.

Related Articles:

 

Federal Court hearing for five stateless individual cases

 

ED. FURTHER UPDATE: The Federal Court had rescheduled its hearing involving the cases of five stateless individuals who were born in Malaysia and want to be recognised as Malaysian citizens to 23 and 24 July 2018, at the request of the Attorney-General’s Chambers which is seeking instructions from the Ministry of Home Affairs. 

ED. UPDATE: The Federal Court postponed its hearing involving the cases of five stateless individuals who were born in Malaysia and want to be recognised as Malaysian citizens to 4 June 2018. This hearing was fixed earlier for 30-31 May 2018.

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The Palace of Justice in Putrajaya – File pix

PUTRAJAYA, April 2 — The Federal Court today again rescheduled its hearing involving the cases of five stateless individuals who were born in Malaysia and want to be recognised as Malaysian citizens.

Hearing for the five cases had been previously postponed to today, but when their cases were called this morning, the Federal Court asked the lawyers to come up with a common set of questions of law for all five cases.

Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, who chaired the five-judge panel, asked the lawyers if it was possible for all five cases to be heard together due to the varying facts of some of the cases.

He noted that the individuals in the cases range from children adopted by Malaysians to children born to a foreigner mother, and also related to issues on a child’s legitimacy.

Datuk Cyrus Das, one of lawyers for two of the citizenship cases, told the court that the five cases could be decided on and dealt with in a single written judgment as the legal questions raised would apply to all five.

Zulkefli then said there would be “one hearing for all five cases”, and that all five cases will be dealt with in a “single judgment”.

The other judges on the panel today are Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed, Tan Sri Hasan Lah and Tan Sri Aziah Ali.

The new hearing dates have been fixed on May 30 and May 31.

Cyrus and lawyer Raymond Mah are the lawyers for two separate cases involving two boys: 17-year-old boy P* and 16-year-old C*, both with unknown birth parents and who were separately adopted by two Malaysian couples.

Seven legal questions were previously posed to the Federal Court in these two cases, while a question of law on citizenship requirement was previously raised for the next two cases.

Lawyer Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram is the lead counsel for two cases involving a 20-year-old whose birth parents are unknown and was adopted by Malaysian parents, and an eight-year-old boy who was born to a Malaysian father and now-untraceable Thai mother that were not legally married when he was born.

For the fifth case involving a child born to a Malaysian father and Papua New Guinean mother who later became a married couple after her birth, lawyer Ranee Sreedharan is representing the 13-year-old girl, M*, in the bid to secure her citizenship status at the country’s highest court.

M had last year won her citizenship bid in the Court of Appeal, but the government had appealed the court’s decision for her to be registered as a citizen.

Three questions of law were previously posed in M’s case for the Federal Court to hear and decide on.

Lawyers who held a watching brief today include Annou Xavier and Larissa Ann Louis for the Bar Council and the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), Goh Siu Lin for the Association of Women Lawyers and Sharmila Sekaran for Voice of the Children.

Representatives from organisations such as the Development of Human Resources for Rural Areas (DHRRA) Malaysia and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) were also present in court.

*The actual names were not used due to privacy reasons.

MMO infographic on 5 statelessness cases

 

How to reduce stateless numbers in Sabah

Source: Free Malaysia Today

There are many stateless children in Sabah of Filipino or Indonesian descent who are unable to access basic rights like education and healthcare. Advocates for Non-discrimination and Access to Knowledge (ANAK) calls for the easing of conditions for citizenship. Image from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: A human rights NGO has urged the government to grant citizenship to every stateless child in Sabah who has a Malaysian parent, even if the other parent is a foreigner and if the child was born out of wedlock.

Denying citizenship to stateless children means denying them basic rights like education and healthcare which, in turn, means denying them the opportunity to do good for society, according to the founder of Advocates for Non-discrimination and Access to Knowledge (ANAK), Anne Baltazar.

Speaking to FMT, Baltazar also called for the removal of citizenship requirements not listed in the Federal Constitution. Read more

MP shocked 12,600 stateless just because parents’ marriage not registered

Source: Free Malaysia Today


KUALA LUMPUR: Padang Serai MP N Surendran today expressed shock that 12,667 children are stateless simply because their parents’ marriage was not registered.

Calling it a “national crisis”, he said the denial of citizenship to these children whose fathers were Malaysian citizens was a violation of the Federal Constitution.

He also urged Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and the government to take urgent steps to address the situation.

Surendran said he had asked Zahid in the Dewan Rakyat to disclose the number of children in Malaysia whose father was a citizen and whose mother was a foreigner, and who had been denied citizenship on grounds that the parents’ marriage was not registered.

“Zahid said that based on records of the NRD (National Registration Department) as of Feb 25, 2018, there were 12,667 children denied citizenship on grounds that their parents’ marriage was not registered.

“This figure of 12,667 is based on NRD records only. The real figure is bound to be much higher.” Read more

Apex court defers hearing for five Malaysia-born stateless persons… again

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The Palace of Justice in Putrajaya – File pix

PUTRAJAYA, April 2 — The Federal Court today again rescheduled its hearing involving the cases of five stateless individuals who were born in Malaysia and want to be recognised as Malaysian citizens.

Hearing for the five cases had been previously postponed to today, but when their cases were called this morning, the Federal Court asked the lawyers to come up with a common set of questions of law for all five cases.

Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, who chaired the five-judge panel, asked the lawyers if it was possible for all five cases to be heard together due to the varying facts of some of the cases.

He noted that the individuals in the cases range from children adopted by Malaysians to children born to a foreigner mother, and also related to issues on a child’s legitimacy. Read more

Born and bred in Malaysia: Stateless persons — Jamie Chai Yun Liew

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY JAMIE CHAI YUN LIEW

MARCH 28 — Malaysia has a statelessness problem but not in the way that many expect. Stateless persons in Malaysia are not foreigners, migrants or even “illegals”. They are born and bred in Malaysia.

Between January and April 2018, I conducted research in Malaysia interviewing stateless persons, lawyers, paralegals, NGOs, and academics. Over the course of examining legal cases, reading news articles, and talking to Malaysian experts working in the field, I discovered there are six categories of stateless persons in Malaysia. These six categories include: (1) persons who were citizens before Malaysian independence (including those persons who came to work in plantations); (2) persons who have lost important documentation such as birth certificates or marriage licenses; (3) abandoned children (foundlings) and adopted children born in Malaysia; (4) children of mixed marriages or children born before a marriage was registered; (5) Indigenous persons; (6) some refugees and migrants. Read more