Report: Penang-born stateless siblings now allowed back in school

File picture showing Vengadeswaran’s family and friends holding placards in front of the state Education Department office in George Town, January 25, 2017. ― Pictures by KE Ooi
File picture showing Vengadeswaran’s family and friends holding placards in front of the state Education Department office in George Town, January 25, 2017. ― Pictures by KE Ooi

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 31 — Booted from school last year, three undocumented Penang-born siblings recently received the greenlight to return to SJK(T) Mak Mandin in Butterworth today.

The Penang Education Department was reported by theSun daily to have issued a letter to the children’s Malaysian father M Vengadeswaran, 44 allowing the three siblings aged 10 to 12 to continue their disrupted studies.

However, the news report added that Suriya, Agilandaswari, and Thuranayagi are only allowed to study there for six more months before they are required to produce new birth certificates issued by the National Registration Department (NRD) to continue their education at the public school.

The three children who were born to an Indonesian mother do not have their Malaysian father’s name or their citizenship stated in their birth certificates.

Vengadeswaran has produced a DNA report and his citizenship to confirm that the three children were his.

“I am in the midst of submitting the necessary documentations for my children’s new birth certificate. I hope once submitted the NRD will assist in expediting the issuance of the certificate,” Vengadeswaran was quoted saying.

Vengadeswaran has produced a DNA report and his citizenship to confirm that the three children were his.
Vengadeswaran has produced a DNA report and his citizenship to confirm that the three children were his.

Vengadeswaran first submitted his DNA test results as proof that he was the children’s father in June last year, allowing the children to resume schooling while the application was being processed.

But after the application was rejected by NRD in November, the children were not allowed to start the 2017 schooling year, causing Vengadeswaran to highlight his plight to the media last week.

The children have lost touch with their mother since she returned to her native country seven years ago.

Their parents had not registered their traditional Hindu wedding ceremony, Vengadeswaran told reporters previously.

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