Hornbill Unleashed

January 11, 2018

Go deeper to register indigenous Sarawakians, NRD told

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Human rights activist Peter John Jaban (3rd from right) accompanies the 23 applicants in a meeting with NRD officers in Kuching January 10, 2018. — Picture by Sulok TawieThe state National Registration Department (NRD) must make more effort to register stateless Sarawakians living deep in the state’s interior, local activist Peter John Jaban said today.

He said there were many isolated communities in the remote and inaccessible areas of the Borneo state, naming Baram and Kapit as two such areas.

“We urge the taskforce to step up its activities, designing a systematic procedure to ensure access to every community in Sarawak and solve the issue of statelessness once and for all,” Jaban told reporters after leading a group of non-governmental organisations to submit citizenship applications and other identification documents on behalf of 23 stateless people at the state NRD office here.

The 23 applicants included Malay, Chinese, Iban and Bidayuh from Balai Ringin, Serian, Muara Tebas, Bintulu and Selangau.

He noted the NRD had made a good start by focusing on registering communities with reasonable access to urban centres, but should go beyond areas only accessible by roads and rivers

“There have been cases of unmarried women who became pregnant while working in towns, then leaving their infant children with their aged parents in longhouses and villages.

“These children mostly end up without identification documents because the grandparents are either ignorant of the documents importance or deem it too financially troublesome for them,” he added.


Source : The Malay Mail Online by Sulok Tawie


 

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