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Stateless Suluk kids deserve to be in government schools
Published on: Sunday, February 04, 2024
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Since there are vacancies and at no extra cost, just as a matter of complying to human and Islamic values, Yang Amat Berhormat may authorised these government schools to allow stateless children be registered and accepted into government schools. - pix for illustration purposes only
YAB Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim,

Perdana Menteri Malaysia,

Putrajaya.

Yang Amat Berhormat,

I HAVE the honour once again to address Yang Amat Berhormat on the issue of stateless children in Sabah who have been denied access to education. 

These stateless children are mostly the 3rd generation of Suluk refugee who came to Sabah during the oppression period by the Philippines Government against the Muslim Suluk in 1963. 

Under the United Nations resettlements programme, they were settled at Karamunting (Sandakan) and Semporna refugee camps in Sabah. 

During the Usno and Berjaya governments a large number of the first generation were accorded with Malaysian citizenship by the Federal Government.

However, the following Sabah Government discontinued the award due to pressure from the public and thus some of their children and grandchildren were not given any identification which obviously disqualified them from entry in any government schools. 

Therefore, it is an urgent need for Malaysia to consider allowing these stateless children to enter government schools. 

There must be tens of thousands of these stateless children. No doubt Malaysia Task Force has the exact figures.

Unlike the Indonesian Foreign Workers Children as Yang Amat Berhormat is fully aware that the children were and are being provided education in Indonesian schools in all parts of Sabah. 

It is understood that there are now 118 Indonesian Primary School and 50 Secondary School. These schools are fully funded and administered by the Indonesian Government and some are funded by the plantation companies in Sabah. 

Indonesian children in Sabah are well look after and they can be seen wearing their school uniforms in white and red colours. YAB is all fully aware that many government schools in Sabah are still short of students. 

A good example is the government Primary school at Merotai, Tawau, where it was reported that it has 22 teachers and only 44 students from Primary one to six. 

It is common knowledge that many primary and secondary schools were built in the early 1990s were just for the sake of negotiated contracts and this especially happened in Kudat. 

Since there are vacancies and at no extra cost, just as a matter of complying to human and Islamic values, Yang Amat Berhormat may authorised these government schools to allow stateless children be registered and accepted into government schools.

YAB, in addition to complying to human rights and Islamic values, the Suluks should be given an equal opportunity to progress at their ancestral lands.

Sabah was part and parcel of the Suluk Sultanate a few hundred years ago.

I, therefore, appeal to YAB to allow these stateless Suluk children to enter government schools.

I remain Yang Amat Berhormat,

Harris Mohd Salleh



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