Issuing stateless children with ICs positive move – LDP



KOTA KINABALU: Giving proper documentation to stateless children whose either parent is a Malaysian will allow them to get education and jobs, thereby preventing social problems down the road.

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) president Datuk Chin Su Phin said registering these children, who have one Malaysian parent, was a positive move that should be implemented despite protests from the opposition.

He said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Shafie Apdal had emphasized that the registration exercise did not equate to issuing stateless children with Malaysian identification cards, as that would be the jurisdiction of the Federal Government, but to give the children valid documentation for them to go to school and work in Sabah.

“The State Government led by Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) should make a firm decision to carry out the registration exercise.

“They should not be deterred by the comments made by some opposition leaders, who have opposed to the proposal for the sake of opposing,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Chin pointed out that the opposition leaders, who were formerly ministers of the State, had failed to take action in resolving the longstanding issue of stateless children during the administration of the previous government.

He said stateless children did not only involve those with Filipino or Indonesian parents, but also foreigners of other nationalities like China who married Malaysians.

“A lot of bumiputera children in rural villages are also stateless as well.

“Sabah has hundreds of thousands of stateless children, who are the fourth or fifth generation born in the State.

“We cannot deport them because they will not be recognized by the home country of their foreign parent.”

If left uneducated, he said these children would create social problems when they grew up.

“These stateless children will cause disturbance perhaps 10 or 20 years down the road because they cannot find jobs without education.”

By allowing these children to enrol in schools, Chin said they would gain knowledge and ultimately enter the workforce, which in turn, eliminate the need for employers to hire foreign workers and bear the hefty levy.

“Hence, I hope the government will be firm in implementing the registration of stateless children.

“On the other hand, illegal immigrants and foreign workers should be deported back to their home countries.”

Chin also hoped that the State Government would be fair when issuing proper documentation to stateless children, irrespective of the nationality of their foreign parent, be it Filipino or Chinese.

At the same time, he urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) to assist the government in monitoring the registration exercise of stateless children to ensure no power abuse or corruption.