KUCHING, July 24 — The people have been asked to ensure they acquire the necessary official documents before having children to prevent the next generation from being stateless.

In making the appeal, Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah pointed out many children were born stateless because of their parents’ failure to register their marriages.

“All marriages must be registered because this is one of the factors contributing to seeing stateless persons in Sarawak.

“If this is not properly managed, it will lead to major problems like children being born without a birth certificate which will later deprive them of education and other assistance,” she said today.


Fatimah said this before Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail presented citizenship approval letters to over 60 individuals, who were stateless prior to the ceremony held at Wisma Bapa Malaysia in Petra Jaya here.

She said the recipients came under the 946 citizenship applications her ministry helped to submit to the Home Ministry early this year.

She explained that the applications fell under Article 15A of the Federal Constitution given that these stateless individuals were never registered with the state National Registration Department (JPN).


“These are the cases whereby their parents do not have the official documents,” she said.

She observed that some of the recipients arrived at Wisma Bapa Malaysia as early as 9.30am as they were excited about being granted the approval letters.

She pointed out the ceremony was a long-awaited event as some of the individuals had been waiting for the approval for years.

“I also feel like today is Hari Raya since they have been waiting for this approval for so long and finally, they get it today,” she said, earning applause from those present.

Fatimah stressed today’s presentation did not mark the end of the journey in helping more stateless individuals in Sarawak to obtain citizenship approval from the Home Ministry.

“There are still many cases to be processed. Together with the federal government and the Home Ministry, we hope more citizenship issues can be solved,” she said.

She explained state JPN officers would brief the recipients on their next course of action after being granted the approval letters.

“They will be briefed of what to do next in order to get their birth certificate and MyKad. Also, I must remind those who are no more stateless to always remember your obligation as a citizen.

“I hope you will appreciate such approval, which is the utmost honour being granted to a stateless individual,” she added.

As Malaysian citizens, Fatimah said they must remain loyal to the King, country, and state, as well as strive to become quality citizens who will make meaningful contributions to Malaysia and Sarawak.

“To our home minister, thank you for the cases solved. We always look forward to your visit to Sarawak to grant us more citizenship approval letters,” she added. — Borneo Post Online