17 September 2009
Press statement issued by Wanita MCA National Chairman Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun welcoming the Home Ministry’s move to award citizenship to 92 applicants
Wanita MCA is delighted to note that Malaysia Day 2009 was made extra special for 92 “new” Malaysians when the Home Ministry under the leadership of its Minister, Dato’ Sri Hishamuddin bin Tun Hussein bestowed them each with Malaysian citizenship.
Wanita MCA recognizes that since helming the Home Ministry this year, Hishamuddin has set a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) of clearing up all the backlog applications of which, since 1 January 2009, citizenship accounted for 32,927 cases, entry permit (16,812 cases) and late registration of birth certificates (93,360). Hishamuddin must be praised that within a short time through reducing red tape, the Home Ministry has cleared some 70% of the entire applications, and it looks set to meeting the Ministry’s KPI target of processing all applications by year end.
Certainly in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of 1Malaysia which promulgates “People First, Performance Now,” the speedy yet efficient processing of the backlog applications shows the public delivery system has very much been enhanced. As a highly respected statesman, Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak has also extolled that we need to build a nation in which everyone has a chance to optimise their potential.
Rights of a Child
Meanwhile, the statistics as cited above reveals there is still a vast pool of applicants in need of Malaysian citizenship, permanent residency and birth certificates. Wanita MCA hopes that the Home Ministry will similarly expedite the applications regardless of race, particularly for deserving cases like stateless children from the indigenous community or those born in the estate whose births are unrecorded; or for school-going children who are denied equal education benefits like free textbooks and health care all just because one parent is a foreigner and that the child was born prior to the parent’s marriage registration.
In conjunction with announcement by the Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Dato’ Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil on the National Child Protection Policy (NCPP) Wanita MCA holds that any child born must be protected against abuse, violence, neglect and exploitation and should be nurtured to become model citizens. With regards with the simultaneous release of the National Child Policy (NCP) by the same Ministry which outlines on the survival rights, protection, development and child participation so that children can enjoy holistic growth in a conducive environment, Wanita MCA reiterates it position that any child born of at least one Malaysian parent, irrespective of the parent’s gender , the child should be accorded with all his/her rights as Malaysian citizens as enshrined in the Federal Constitution. Wanita MCA praises the NCPP and NCP policies released by the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development under the guidance of Dato’ Seri Shahrizat as they are timely efforts to safeguard the rights of children.
Enabling one’s basic human rights as accorded through citizenship for a child to enjoy holistic development and non-discrimination is also in line with Malaysia’s obligations to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child (UNICEF) of which Malaysia is signatory to. Without compromising the legal marriage, Wanita MCA hopes that the Home Ministry will take into consideration the plight of “stateless” children and process the application of their birth certificate, MyKad and citizenship speedily before the end of the year as this would fulfill Dato’ Sri Hishamuddin’s KPI for his Ministry, so long as the criteria have been fulfilled.
Datin Paduka Chew Mei FunWanita MCA Chairman
The Star News Friday September 18, 2009
Many still awaiting citizenship
PETALING JAYA: There are still many people yet to receive Malaysian citizenship, permanent residency or birth certificates even though the Home Ministry has cleared 70% of the backlog of citizenship applications, said Wanita MCA.
Since Jan 1 this year, late registration of birth certificates accounted for 93,360 cases of backlogged applications. Applications for citizenship accounted for 32,927 cases, followed by entry permits with 16,812 cases.
In a statement yesterday, Wanita MCA chairperson Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun hoped that the Home Ministry would process applications involving stateless children before the end of the year, particularly cases of indigenous children or “estate children” whose births were unrecorded.
She also hoped applications for schoolchildren with one foreign parent and born prior to the parents’ marriage registration would be approved, as the children were denied education benefits like free textbooks because of this.
Chew was confident that the Ministry’s KPI target of processing all applications by the end of the year could be achieved after their applications were processed.
“Wanita MCA reiterates its position that any child born of at least one Malaysian parent, irrespective of the parent’s gender, should be accorded all his or her rights as Malaysian citizens as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
“Enabling one’s basic human rights as accorded through citizenship for a child to enjoy holistic development and non-discrimination is also in line with Malaysia’s obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which Malaysia is a signatory,” Chew added.
Meanwhile, Gerakan central unity bureau head Dr Asharuddin Ahmad said the Government’s decision to approve the maiden batch of applications for citizenship has “righted a wrong”.
“The 92 applicants waited many years to be accepted as Malaysians. The decision is in line with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s 1Malaysia concept.
“The PM has walked the talk that Malaysia is for all Malaysians,” Asharuddin said yesterday.
He also commended Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein for personally looking into the backlog of citizenship applications.
Asharuddin also hoped Hishammuddin and ministry officers would carefully vet the rest of the applications, notably the scores of foreign nationals whose spouses were Malaysian. He said many foreigners who were professionals and spouses of Malaysians were forced to work elsewhere because they could not get citizenship or permanent residency status.
He also urged the applications of those who were no threat to national security and were loyal to the country to be approved.