A - 100 Days

A11. Solving the problem of stateless Indians

Pakatan May 10, 2018

Please note these historical updates display when articles associated to this promise were added, removed, or changed. The promise status matches the status of its most recent article, as determined by the article date.

In progress
May 2019

Home minister: Early stage of Pakatan’s promise to solve stateless Indians’ problem met

The Malay Mail May 06, 2019

PUTRAJAYA, May 6 — The Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration pledged in its manifesto to resolve statelessness among the ethnic Indian community within 100 days of forming the government and delivered on this, said Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. Expressing pride that the early parts of the pledge have been achieved, the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president also announced during a special interview ahead of PH’s first anniversary that his ministry has approved 1,641 citizenship to Indians above the age of 60. “Among the things that were in the PH manifesto was also the promise to solve the problem of stateless Indians or Malaysian born Indians without citizenship within 100 days. “This responsibility came under the Home Ministry and I’m happy to say that the early stages of this promise have been fulfilled. “1,641 Indians above the age of 60 was given citizenship status after they met all criteria as stated in the Federal Constitution,” he said. Muhyiddin said to that fulfil the promise, a committee was set up to examine the issue of long-standing applications for citizenship. The committee involved officers from the Home Ministry and the Human Resources Ministry. He said the committee had looked into issues related to citizenship, restricted identity cards and several pending cases that have yet to be resolved. The committee was tasked not only with resolving cases that involved the Indian community but others including the Malays who have yet to get their citizenship despite being born in Malaysia or having stayed for a long time in the country. In March, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P. Waytha Moorthy, who is in charge of national unity and social wellbeing, said there are 10 categories of statelessness identified as causing citizenship issues to more than 300,000 individuals involving various races. Among these are a lack of documents, poverty, birth at home, unregistered marriages, and abandoned children. Others are the adoption of Malaysia-born orphans, ignorance, apathy, and fear of authorities. He said the PH government is in the final stages of consultation with various stakeholders and will be submitting papers to the Cabinet for its final approval to solve the issue of stateless children and undocumented Malaysians. He added that related government agencies are working to outline a comprehensive solution to the stateless issue, in line with the PH government’s manifesto promise. Waytha said that the government was aware of people’s anxiety especially when the PH government promised to solve the issue of stateless people, which was why they were working to find a comprehensive solution to this issue. He said these stateless individuals are in a vulnerable position and at serious risk of abuse, neglect and violence perpetuated by limited access to education and healthcare, increased social and financial marginalisation, exploitation and vagrancy.

Mar 2019

Comprehensive solution on the issues of stateless Malaysians, says minister

The Malay Mail March 27, 2019

KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 — The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government is currently in the final stages of consultation with various stakeholders and will be submitting papers to the cabinet for its final approval to solve the issue of stateless children and un-documented Malaysians. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Senator P. Waytha Moorthy said that the government was aware of the people’s anxiety especially when the PH government promised to solve the issue of stateless people and thus, they were working to find a comprehensive solution to this issue. “The government is also aware that these stateless individuals are in vulnerable position and at serious risk of suffering abuse, neglect and violence perpetuated by limited access to education and healthcare, increased social and financial marginalisation, exploitation and vagrancy,” he said in a statement issued here today. He said that there were various reasons as to why individuals, a sizeable number of whom were Malaysian Indians, had become stateless and undocumented. These included their parents’ own citizenship status, lack of supporting documents (dating back to pre-Merdeka years), poverty, abandoned children, unregistered marriages due to one of the spouses being stateless and ignorance among others, he said. “The Malaysian Indian Transformation Unit (MITRA), an agency under the Prime Minister’s Department has, based on case studies, identified 10 varying categories of stateless persons and challenges in their objective to be conferred citizenship within the ambit of our current laws,” Waytha Moorthy said. MITRA, he said, was also currently working with related government agencies to outline a comprehensive solution to the stateless issue, in line with the PH government’s manifesto promise. He also said that the existing provisions of the Federal Constitution had been narrowly interpreted by civil servants and there was a lack of empathy and willingness to use their discretionary powers within the ambit of the Federal Constitution. Meanwhile in Kuching, Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah who is the Sarawak Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development said the granting of citizenship was the highest award given by the federal government to individuals who were non-citizens. She said the granting of the citizenship was also an effort by the government that wanted Malaysians to enjoy the various facilities provided beside having a comfortable life. “We do not want to see children born in Malaysia to face hardship in obtaining education whereas their biological parents are Malaysian citizens,” she said. Fatimah said this at a function to hand over the Citizenship Approval Letter at Wisma Wanita, here today. She said the Special Committee on the Citizenship Status was set up in 2016 and had obtained the agreement from the Home Ministry. — Bernama

Aug 2018

Senior holders of red MyKad to get full citizenship

Malay Mail August 14, 2018

Permanent residents over the age of 60 who have applied for citizenships will be granted this soon, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today. The prime minister said the decision was reached following a meeting yesterday with representatives of the Indian community including Pakatan Harapan 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 Pakatan Harapan pledged in its election manifesto to help secure citizenships for 3,407 Indians over 60 years old who possess the red MyKads. He said that while the 100-day pledge was limited to the Indian communities, the decision was made to apply it across the board. Dr Mahathir added that citizenship applications will also be relaxed for applicants under 60 and with at least one Malaysian parent. “But the child must be born in Malaysia,” he said. There are certain conditions that they need to adhere to before they are granted citizenship. It is mandatory that they pass the Bahasa Malaysia test. “It is a simple test, which they will have to take, in order to qualify,” he said. In order to qualify for citizenship, permanent residents must have lived in the country for 10 years as per the Federal Constitution. Dr Mahathir said the next thing to look into is cases of children denied citizenship because their parents do not have proper marriage documents.

May 2018

Pakatan Harapan wants to solve stateless Indian issue in Pahang

New Straits Times May 21, 2018

Efforts to address the issue of Indians who do not possess identification documents and those with red identification cards in Pahang will begin once the federal government gives the green light. Sabai state assemblyman D. Kamache said Pakatan Harapan (PH) in its manifesto had promised to resolve issues surrounding stateless Indians after assuming federal power, and they will keep their words. “Once we receive the go ahead from the federal government, we will go to the ground to look into the matter from a bigger perspective.

In fact, I have been doing it (looking into issues of those without identification documents) over the last 10 years and personally handled the cases by doing the necessary in Putrajaya (National Registration Department). “However, now with the support from the federal government along with the Home Ministry and relevant agencies, I am sure we can achieve more and ensure no one from the Indian community is being left out. Those without identification documents or red identification cards can be assured that changes is coming their way,” she said when contacted today. Kamache, who is the PH coordinator for the Indian community in Pahang, said upon receiving the directives, she will meet those who faced problems related to birth, identity card and citizenship to ensure all their long-standing problems will finally come to an end. “Instead of waiting at the service centres or setting up booths, we will go down to the ground to visit estates and plantations with a huge Indian population in Pahang. As the elected representative, we need to serve at their (voters) doorstep and look into ways to help them. “Being without proper identification documents is a major problem as one cannot receive proper assistance, cannot enroll in school or receive medical aid and instead they might be treated as a foreigner. So we want to investigate and ensure they have all the necessary supporting documents and we will do our best to provide them with proper identification documents so that they can live a normal life,” she said. Kamache was responding to several viral WhatsApp messages over the past few days claiming that those with problems related to identification documents should contact her or her district representatives for immediate action. Under its manifesto, PH had promised to resolve the issues surrounding stateless Indians within 100 days if it wins Putrajaya in the 14th General Election.

Pending go ahead by Federal government