Minister wants status of students issued with proper ID updated

Fatimah talks about the number of students in Sarawak not having identification documents. — Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING: The state Education Department has been asked to update the status of students who have been issued with proper identification documents, on its students’ database application.

Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Fatimah Abdullah, in making this call, said this was to ensure that they (students) too would benefit from the various types of aid from the government for poor students such as textbooks, uniforms, food aid and monetary assistance under the Kumpulan Wang Amanah Pelajar Miskin.

She noted that 637 students had their status updated by the National Registration Department (NRD) as citizens of Malaysia in February this year.

The 637, she said, are among the 1,297 students in Sarawak found to have no identification papers last year by a special taskforce.

“Now that the NRD has updated their status as citizens of Malaysia, the state Education Department too must update these students’ status on the students’ database application,” she told reporters at her office in Bangunan Baitulmakmur here yesterday.

Fatimah, who holds a watching brief over the NRD-related matters in the state, said while the status of 96 other students have yet to be determined, 79 are confirmed to be non-Malaysians.

She said those whose status has yet to be determined are mainly children who were born before the marriage of their parents (locals married to foreigners) was properly registered.

She said should the child of a mixed marriage couple – of whom the wife is a foreigner – is born before any proper registration, that child would assume the citizenship of the mother.

“This is where the complications arise. In this kind of cases, the parents are advised to notify the NRD for application of citizenship under Article 15A (of the Federal Constitution).

“There is also a need for parents to get a statutory declaration from local community leaders to support their applications,” she said.

Fatimah also said 435 other students had problem with inaccurate or incomplete information about themselves and their parents’ identification.

She said some had their names wrongly spelt and other particulars being wrongly keyed in by the school authorities, which might cause the NRD to assume that they were non-Malaysians.

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