Fatimah: Temporary citizenship document limited to those aged 21 and below

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Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah — Photo by Roystein Emmor

MIRI (March 22): The temporary document issued by the Premier’s office is only for stateless children aged 21 and below, said Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah.

When contacted, the Minister of Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development said the document is for citizenship applications made under Article 15A of the Federal Constitution, which is issued to enable stateless children to attend school provided that they have the reference number from the National Registration Department (JPN) as proof that they had filed their application.

“Ours (temporary document) is based on applications under Article 15A,” she said when asked whether or not the temporary document also applies to stateless children above 21 years of age.

Fatimah was responding to the case of stateless youth Francis Imannuel from Long Ikang, Baram, who has been forced to put his dream of pursuing a tertiary education on hold because his citizenship application is still being processed eight years after it was filed.

Francis, who turned 22 today, said he had applied for citizenship on April 14, 2015, when he was 14, under Article 15A of the Federal Constitution.

Francis is the youngest of four siblings, but all of his older siblings have already been granted Malaysian citizenship.