By : SANDRA SOKIAL.
KOTA KINABALU: The stateless in Sabah will be given a ‘status’ finally to avoid social complications in the future. Deputy Home Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, who disclosed this yesterday, said that it would also ensure that these people are in the system should they get involved in crime activities.
“We are doing this on humanitarian grounds because they too deserve a certain status.
“For instance, a six-year-old today will be 20 in the next 14 years. What will happen to them if they do not possess birth certificate, identity card (IC) or any kind of documentations? We cannot send them to their countries of origin because they were born and grew up here … they cannot stay stateless.
“We have to realise this now, otherwise it will be a social problem in the future. They deserve to be given some kind of documentation and a status,” Wan Junaidi told reporters after a courtesy visit to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman at the Sri Gaya here yesterday.
He said that all babies borne in Malaysia are eligible for a birth certificate, but stressed that it does not automatically award one the Malaysian citizenship.
“We will divide them into two categories – citizen and non-citizen. Their status, whether they will be awarded citizenship or not, will be determined later (when they apply for the ICs),” he said.
The IC is divided into three colours, namely MyKad for citizens, and red and green. Red IC holders are non-Malaysian permanent residents, while green IC holders are non-Malaysian temporary residents.
“On whether the red and green IC holders will be given the Malaysian citizenship will only be determined when we reach the bridge and cross it. They will have to meet certain criteria such as having a clean backgrounds, avoid involving in crime and have shown their loyalty to the country,” said Wan Junaidi.
He added the stateless people problem happens everywhere in Malaysia, adding that in fact, it is also a global issue.
“This is a global phenomenon and not restricted to Sabah alone. If a country continues to be prosperous with good social conditions, people from neighbouring countries will definitely flood our country,” he said, giving examples, such as the Mexicans who seek greener pastures in California, USA.
Meanwhile, Sabah National Registration Department director Ismail Ahmad disclosed that there are three types of birth certificates which would be divided into two colours, namely green for citizens and red for non-citizens and queue (for those with pending status).
Also present at the courtesy call was NRD director-general Datuk Jariah Mohd Said. (BP)