KUALA LUMPUR: 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 yesterday.
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. –Bernama