19 people receive Malaysian citizenship

Sufia ((third left) receives her birth certificate from Lee in the presence of Affrizan (left) and Chin (fourth left).

MIRI: Being stateless or having no birth certificate and identity card is not a right but a real hindrance to a host of opportunities to improve one’s life in all aspects including formal education and life partner.

Nineteen stateless people from rural Sarawak who have ‘migrated’ to Senadin constituency, applied in October and December last year to have their citizenship granted.

They made the applications through the National Registration Department’s (NRD) mobile registration team with assistance of Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Senadin Service Centre.

Yesterday, they, with ages ranging from 13 to 55 years old, received their citizenship complete with birth certificates including three who also received their identity cards (IC) during a brief ceremony held at the NRD office here.

Senadin assemblyman Datuk Lee Kim Shin who is also Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture was on hand to hand over the documents.

His special assistant Eric Chin, NRD mobile team chief Affrizan Bujang, SUPP Miri Public Complaint Bureau head Hanim Jaraee and assistant registration officers Philip Neh and Felix Japi were also present.

Four of the recipients including three brothers praised the Barisan Nasional government and also Lee and his team as well as NRD for making their dreams to becoming Malaysian citizens a reality.

The three brothers – Apin (second right), Jabu (third left) and Jangun (second left) apply for their identity cards. Attending to them are Affrizan (third right), Philip (right) and Felix (left)

They said the documents were like the proverbial light in a tunnel that would lead them to a brighter future.

The three brothers, all general workers of a company here, are still bachelors. They are Apin Mandau (30), Jabu (29) and Jangun (26) from KM15, Bintulu/Miri Road, and Sufia Jantum (35) from Kampung Merajang, Ulu Lubai, Limbang.

“Now that I am a Malaysian citizen my ultimate goal and also my wishes for my brothers Jabu and Jangun are to have a better life than we have today. We never went to school and thus we have to become only general workers,” said Apin.

Jabu meanwhile said life is miserable without education.

“Besides having little salary, I can’t save the money in a bank even if I have plenty, no bank will approve our applications to open an account, what more to say to apply for loans and other government assistance.

“My wish now is to apply for a passport so that I can work in Brunei for bigger pay, and with it the opportunity to see the world. Jangun too envisioned a much comfortable life and his wish is to get some education and be able to read and write.

“Without any education, I can’t even have a handphone, let alone to have a car to drive. I can’t fully enjoy life in this digital era where people have handphones and access to internet.

“With my citizenship granted, I hope that someday a beautiful woman would come my way and marry me. That’s also my wish for my elder brothers. Women used to reject us for our statelessness,” Jangun lamented.

As for Sufia who recently had an operation at Miri Hospital for growth in her stomach, she said she would now be able to go to hospitals or clinics without having to pay any fee.

“It is a great burden for a jobless, sick person like me who is (was) also stateless. I had to pay more compared to a citizen.

“For normal treatment I had to pay RM60-RM90 at government clinics while for my (recent) operation I had to pay RM190.”

She added that with the citizenship status, she hoped to go home soon to her village by land through Brunei.

“I have not been home for many years as I could not afford the airfare of over RM175. I will apply for a passport so that I can travel by land using chartered vehicles or one provided by families or friends,” said Sufia, the eldest of six siblings.

She believed that poverty, remotesness of her village and the ignorance of her (Malaysian) parents had led to her predictment. Her five siblings are, however, all Malayusian citizens.

Source: http://www.theborneopost.com/2018/03/25/19-people-receive-malaysian-citizenship/