Chong: PH will solve the stateless issue more effective than SCC


Press Statement by YB Chong Chieng Jen:

For the information of Abdul Karim, my loyalty lies with the people of Sarawak NOT with the ruling elites of Gabungan Party Sarawak (GPS) of Sarawak.

This is also why Iview that the Special Committee on Citizenship headed by Fatimah (SCC) was ineffective in resolving the long outstanding citizenship application issue faced by so many genuine Sarawakians.

So far, the only “special” result produced by the SCC that I can discern was the case of the wife and stepsons of the Sarawak Governor. Not only have they been granted citizenship within less than 8 years of her marriage with the Governor, but all have attained “native” status of Sarawak.

While the wife and stepsons of the Governor were given such “special” treatment, many through and through Sarawakians were denied citizenships for decades because of some minor technicalities and bureaucracies.That was the policy of the past BN which we will change.Since 2016, the SCC has received 723 applications for citizenship, but as at May 2019, 3 years after the formation of the SCC, only 123 applications have been approved. As this rate, it will take SCC another 15 years to get the approvals for all the applicants in hand.

This is not only highly ineffective and also is a unfair torment to the applicants and their families.With the disbanding of the SCC, all Sarawak Pakatan Harapan elected representatives will now have direct access to the office of the Minister of Home Affairs on citizenship application cases to constantly monitor and follow-up on the applications. This alternative and more intense personal follow-up means of handling the citizenship applications has also proven to be more effective in producing results, in that, within 2 – 3 months we have got 31 cases approved and I believe more approvals will be forthcoming sooner.

Fatimah must come to accept the fact that she has been given the chance to perform but she failed, and her failure has brought unnecessary distress and anxiety to the 600 plus applicants and their family members. Why can’t she gracefully let others to handle the matter?

As for SUPP President who tries to sabotage and smear this good effort of the Pakatan Harapan Government by equating it to the Sabah IC problem, it is a non-issue as the Sarawak Government still has the full control of the Immigration Department.

Furthermore, all the 31 recipients of citizenship approval on 29-7-2019 have lived in Sarawak most of their lives and they all have siblings or one of the parents who are Sarawakians. Due to the policy of the previous government, they are compelled to live as stateless person all these years.

There are still hundreds of similar cases out there and we Pakatan Harapan government is determined to give them their rightful citizenships as soon as possible, despite the sabotage and smearing of Sim Kui Hian and his counterpart UMNO in West Malaysia.

One word of advice for the President of SUPP, maybe it is more pertinent that he should be asking the question why terrorists were allowed to enter Sarawak and why the Governor’s wife and stepsons were granted “native” status so quickly?

Chong Chieng Jen
Sarawak Pakatan Harapan Chairman