Friday, 10 July 2009

Stateless Sabahans

The story that I am reproducing below is from HERE.

Such a story is common in Sabah. Parents are both Sabahans but they were born outside the country. Kadazans from Penampang who went to Brunei to work will testified that although they are Malaysians, their children born while they were in the sultanate are now classified as `Stateless'.

Its awkward to know that in a family of four siblings, some will have Mykads while the others are green identity card holders.

I know for a fact a friend of mine who was born in Brunei, now back in Sabah and is a `Stateless' person. Though highly qualified, this friend was unable to secured employment in the government service.

The friend of mine was to travel abroad last month but getting a passport was a problem with lots of requirements to be met, and told that meeting what the authorities wanted was not a guarantee that a passports will be issued.

All eyes will be on the new announcement by the government in easing out the problems faces by `Stateless' citizen of this country.

One applicant who is not impressed


KOTA KINABALU: Alice Chui Pee, who regards herself a "stateless Sabahan", is hardly impressed with the Home Ministry's assurance to citizenship applicants that their long wait will end soon. Until she gets her citizenship, Alice remains as frustrated as she was, having waited almost all her life for it.

Born in Singapore in 1957, Alice returned with her parents to Sabah two years later.

Two of her three siblings were also born in Singapore and are now Malaysians, two with MyKad and the other a permanent resident, while she remains stateless based on the green identity card she holds for more than 30 years now.

Alice last sought help from a special committee formed by United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun and Murut Organisation (Upko), a component party of the Barisan Nasional, to look into the plight of Sabahans with citizenship problems.

Her application remains unchanged.

Speaking through her daughter Melissa Lim, Alice said the statement made by Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein was one of many she had heard in the past although she was thankful that something was being done about it.

"My sister Marjorie is graduating in Johor sometime in August this year and my mother is hoping to attend the ceremony.

"She had only left Sabah once some years back after making a special application to visit my sister who was then hospitalised in Kuala Lumpur.

"She hopes to make the same application to attend the ceremony but it would be nice if she could travel using a document that states she is a citizen of Malaysia," she said.

Alice's case is one of many received by the committee called the Upko Citizenship and Security Bureau led by Moyog assemblyman and assistant Finance Minister Donald Mojuntin. -- By Roy Goh

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