Ministry  seriously  looking at  allegation
Published on: Saturday, March 16, 2019

Kota Kinabalu: The Home Ministry is looking seriously at the allegation that the proposed legalisation (program pemutihan) of stateless children is to give identity cards to foreigners.

Its Deputy Minister Datuk Azis Jamman (pic) said the reply given in Parliament, recently, clearly explained that the Government intended to help stateless children if one of their parents are Malaysian citizens.

“I’m taking the allegation seriously with regard to my reply to a question from Keningau Member of Parliament Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan in Parliament,” he said.

He said his reply was polemicised whereas, in fact, he was only asking Dr Jeffrey’s question on the Government’s efforts to help Malaysian citizens who are married to non-citizens and whose children have no documents. 

He said in his reply he clearly mentioned that the proposed legalisation programme was for the Government to carry out a census so as to help the people who are in this category by giving them identification documents. 

“Don’t misinterpret and twist the facts. The proposal to give the identification documents doesn’t mean to give automatic citizenship but an identification document to enable the Government to know their identities (facial and fingerprint identification) and also to know their number,” he said.

He said for cases where they are in fact citizens regardless of race, ethnicity and religion, the Government will consider giving them citizenship for they have complied with the requirements.

He said in efforts to legalise them, it does not mean that the Government will not help the Bumiputera who live in rural areas and in islands whose children have not been registered. He pointed out that the Government has been helping them by implementing an outreach programme through the National Registration Department’s mobile team (JPN Mobile). 

He said the Government always cares for the rights of all children in Malaysia as it is a signatory of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child.

He said as a party to the Convention, the Government has the duty to protect their rights and development regardless of their religion, race and citizenship.

He also assured that the Government will not sideline any communities, including the natives of Sabah, as alleged. 

He said it is only a strategy to resolve the problem of stateless children.

He added that the Government has been trying to revise all approaches and contexts of children who risk being stateless.

Photo Source: Bernama


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