Asserting statelessness to be a national problem, an Opposition lawmaker questioned today the government’s move to form a special task force on citizenship issues to just Sarawak-born Chinese.
Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran said that the task force as announced by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was the right step, but suggested that its scope should be broadened to include the rest of the country.
“Firstly why Zahid’s announcement was only for stateless Chinese in Sarawak? Isn’t stateless people a national issue that also affects Chinese in West Malaysia? Isn’t stateless Indian problem an issue that must be urgently addressed and resolved?” Kulasegaran asked in a statement.
The DAP national vice-chairman also questioned the efficacy of the special task force to resolve the plight of the stateless in the country.
He noted that a previous special task force on statelessness had been formed under the Prime Minister’s Department to deal with undocumented Malaysia-born ethnic Indians, but claimed the results left much to be desired.
“What is needed is an amnesty programme to be part of the solution to end the long standing plight of the stateless people,” Kulasegaran said.
He then asked if the Barisan Nasional government had the political will to resolve the problem of statelessness in Malaysia.
Two days ago, Ahmad Zahid said that the state National Registration Department (NRD) will gather information on the stateless Sarawakian Chinese and make the necessary recommendations on those who meet the criteria to be citizens.
He gave his commitment as home minister to address the matter without delay, and urged the Chinese community to help the NRD on the issue, adding that those born and bred in the state already qualify for citizenship, as granted under the Federal Constitution.
Source : @ Malay Mail Online