KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 — Former foreign minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman today urged the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government to tread carefully in addressing Malaysian citizenship woes faced by stateless children in the country.
The former Umno politician reminded the federal government that Sabahans had turned against Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal during the Kimanis by-election earlier this year when the latter tried to introduce the Pas Sementara Sabah (PSS), a temporary identification pass, as a solution to stateless people in the state.
“Nobody should be able to obtain automatic Malaysian citizenship as everything should be in accordance to the Federal Constitution under Malaysian Citizenship Order 1964 and related laws,” Anifah said in a statement in response to parliamentary debate on stateless children in the country earlier today.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin had been asked about the backgrounds of these stateless children such as whether or not they were born from undocumented immigrants amid questions on conferring them Malaysian citizenship.
Hamzah had given an assurance that citizenship would not be granted indiscriminately, saying children holding the IMM13 papers would not be treated differently from those holding Burung-Burung and other census documents.
The IMM13 is one of the documents issued to citizens of the Philippines with refugee status, in addition to documents like the census certificate which was issued during the Federal Special Task Force legalisation programme and the Kad Burung Burung, a document given when the Sabah People’s United Front led the state government in the 1970s to the 1990s.
However, Anifah said in his statement that there was no difference between the IMM13 document from the Burung-Burung and other census documents.
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