KUCHING: The Sarawak government is committed to helping stateless children, stresses Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah.
According to the state Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Minister, her ministry would send an official letter to the federal Home Ministry regarding this issue.
“We are also aware that this takes quite a long time thus affecting the future of the applicants (stateless children).
“Because of this, there is also a need for understanding on this issue so that it can be addressed immediately,” he told the media after presenting donations at Heng Hua Seng Ing Tong here on Monday (Jan 17).
“We are working hard and striving for this, but those who approve (the applications) are the other party. Which is why we need to work together for the welfare and wellbeing of the children.
“So we help fix what is necessary for them to get education, health services and employment when they reach the age of 21. I also feel it is not appropriate for them to wait until five or six years (for their applications to be approved).”
Previously, a special committee on citizenship status under Section 15A of the Federal Constitution was established involving the Sarawak government and the federal Ministry of Home Affairs to resolve the issue.
A total of 723 applications was submitted between 2016 to 2019 and in 2021, another 246 applications were received.
Of the total, 253 applications had been approved while 716 had yet to receive any feedback from the Home Ministry.