Dissolution of the SCC does not affect to approve the stateless application by Federal Government

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Press Statement by YB Kelvin Yii:

The Pakatan Harapan Federal Government is looking at addressing the issue of Statelessness especially for Section 15(a) on a ‘policy-level’ so that the issue can be dealt with more holistically and effectively to properly address this long-standing issue for the interest of the students and also parents affected.

This was confirmed by the statement by the Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in his recent visit where he confirmed that the Ministry is reviewing and drafting out a new SOP for citizenship application especially for Section 15(a) which will have clearer guidelines in handling and considering applications for citizenship. This move is also to ensure to that every decision made took into account the welfare of the children applying for citizenship status and involved a shortened period, from three years to one.

This is a more holistic approach while dealing with the core issue to ensure that the application process is fair, transparent and all applicants will get a proper consideration rather than the need of a taskforce or even connections to expedite the application.

That is why I regret how GPS leaders are somewhat misleading the public in saying that due to the dissolution of the Sarawak Special Committee on Citizenship that was led by YB Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah, it is as if the interest of those applicants in Sarawak will be abandoned and not taken care off.

The aim of the said committee lead by YB Fatimah as mentioned by her is to speed up the process applications and approval of citizenship of stateless individual born in Sarawak. However, the intention of the Federal Government is now to address the issue on a ‘policy-level’ thus addressing the whole process itself to make it more transparent and even quicker so that it is resolved more effectively rather than just a taskforce to “expedite’ things.

On top of that, in order to serve the local better, as also confirmed by the Minister himself, a Special Taskforce on the matter consisting of local Sarawak Pakatan Harapan leaders representing the Federal Government will still continue to serve the needs of applicants for Sarawak and help them with the application.

This taskforce will play that important role now as these local leaders have better and direct contact with the National Registration Department and the Home Ministry which are under the Federal Government.

So to say that the needs and interest of Sarawak is somewhat abandoned and not cared for is incorrect but rather the PH Federal Government is even more serious and sincere to properly correct this issue. This was shown through how a total of 56 approved applications in the Kuching region alone and more will be announced soon in the different regions all over Sarawak. This on top of the needed policy change, shows that the PHgovernment is serious and sincere in addressing the issue and also have done what the previous BN government did not do for decades.

I also regret how some quarters are spinning these efforts by the federal government to help the stateless children in Sarawak and even labelling it as ‘Project I.C ‘ in Sarawak. They somehow try to politicize the issue for their own interest without taking into consideration the interest of these children who many have waited for years just to get proper identification.

We understand the importance of proper identification (IC) for them as without it, it is difficult to properly get access to education, job opportunities, to travel overseas or even to open up a bank account. On top of that it helps eliminate stigma and discrimination against these people just because they don’t have proper documentations on top of assuring their safety and security in our country.

I personally handled many cases including one where a student who scored excellent results in STPM is finding difficulties to continue her studies in university due to her documentations. However, I am grateful the Home Ministry has recently granted her the required papers and now she can continue her dream to study in a local university.

That is why we look at this matter seriously and that is why the Federal Government is looking at addressing this issue on a more holistic way on top of having a special taskforce lead by local PH leaders that represents the Federal Government to meet the local needs of the applicants here in Sarawak.

Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen
MP for Bandar Kuching