KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 — MIC Youth chief Datuk C. Sivarraajh congratulated the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government over the prime minister’s announcement today, that Malaysian permanent residents (PR) over the age of 60 seeking citizenship will be getting their new status soon.
However, Sivarraajh said due credit must be given to the then Barisan Nasional (BN) administration, which he said had kickstarted the initiative to register 3,407 ethnic Indians, who hold PR, via its MyDaftar programme.
He also took a swipe at PH’s ethnic Indian leaders who had previously championed the issue when PH was in the Opposition, singling out current Human Resource Minister M. Kulasegaran and P. Waythamoorthy, who is the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of national unity.
“I would like to congratulate the Pakatan Harapan government on this action, but I would like to remind them here, that the attempt to identify and register 3,407 ethnic Indian applicants is the result of the previous Barisan Nasional government through the MyDaftar programme.
“Before the 14th general election, many leaders from Pakatan Harapan made various statements and accusations regarding the matter. For example, Senator Waythamoorthy, the minister of national unity and social welfare, had issued a statement that nearly 300,000 people from the Indian community in Malaysia were not given their citizenship, and after the 14th general election, YB Kulasegaran, the human resource minister, said that the number was only 30,000.
“I hope the Pakatan Harapan government will focus on efforts to identify and solve the citizenship problem of the remaining 296,593 applicants from the 300,000 applicants from the Indian community as they had previously claimed, within the first 100 days of Pakatan Harapan’s administration,” said Sivarraajh, who is also Cameron Highlands MP, in a statement.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that PRs over the age of 60 who have applied for citizenship, will be granted it soon.
He said the decision was reached following a meeting yesterday with representatives of the Indian community, including PH MPs and senators.
However, he did not provide a timeframe for when the citizenships will be approved.
“They will be regarded as citizens,” he told reporters after chairing a special committee meeting on the scenario and management of foreign workers in Malaysia in Parliament.
The prime minister noted that PH pledged in its election manifesto to help secure citizenship for 3,407 Indians over 60 years old who possess red MyKads.
He said that while the 100-day pledge was limited to the Indian community, the decision was made to apply it across the board.
On June 21, Kulasegaran in a video posted on Facebook said he was once considered stateless.
He said he was given a red IC when he was 12 despite being born and raised in Malaysia.
In the video, Kulasegaran reiterated PH’s commitment to solve cases of statelessness involving locals, as promised in its election manifesto.