KUCHING, Aug 18 — The current political crisis in the country is affecting the citizenship application of stateless children in Sarawak, said Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah.
According to her, many applications have been submitted to the Special Committee on Citizenship, under Section 15A of the Federal Constitution.
She said with the federal Cabinet resigning Monday after Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin stepped down as prime minister, the position of home minister is now vacant.
However, the latter’s signature is needed to approve citizenship applications, she pointed out.
“We were supposed to have a meeting on the citizenship applications next Monday but I am not sure whether we can proceed or not since there is no home minister now,” she told the press after paying a visit yesterday to victims of a fire at Kampung Segubang, Batu Kawa who are being temporarily housed at the hall of SM Min Lit here.
According to Fatimah, the main reason resulting in children becoming stateless in Sarawak is that they were often born out of wedlock with their mother being a foreigner.
“Despite the father being a local, the child will not be considered as a citizen,” she said.
She said a politically unstable federal government would disrupt a stateless child’s citizenship application and result in the child’s welfare being affected.
“I pray that Malaysia would soon have a stable government and be politically stable. This is so that we can focus on the fight against Covid-19 and support the people, as well as implementing the National Recovery Plan,” she added. — Borneo Post