Sunday, November 4, 2012

Call on the federal government to grant an amnesty to all stateless persons who have proof they were born in this country.

Speech by M Kula Segaran , DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat at the Joint Press Conference on Stateless People ( with CM Lim Guan Eng and DCM Professor Ramasamy) held in Penang on Saturday, November 3, 2012

Call on the federal government to grant an amnesty to all stateless persons who have proof they were born in this country. 
With the next general election fast approaching, BN leaders are going around the country singing praises about their successes. 

Sometimes they talk as if the BN has only ruled the country for the last 4 years and want the people to judge the BN government’s performance for the last 4 years only.

BN has ruled this nation for the past 55 years and there are many issues and examples which I can highlight to show that BN is not a good and competent government that should be given further mandate to rule this blessed nation. 

But I will just touch on one issue today, which is the issue of stateless and red IC holders. 

This is a long standing issue, yet till today, the BN government has not been able to satisfactorily resolve it.
The unfortunate people continue to suffer, and the BN government continues to be in competent.

On June 13 this year, I had posed a parliamentary question on the number of applicants who have applied to be citizens since 2008 till 2012 and the reasons of the rejection of their applications.

The reply given was that the total number of applicants since 2008 was 62,309 and the number of successful applicants  were 29,848 whereas the balance were rejected as the applicants had not complied with necessary requirements of the Federal Constitution.

What is most disheartening is the high number of persons born in Malaysia who have yet to get the necessary papers to qualify as citizens are Indians.

In 2009, I had also raised in Parliament the huge number of stateless Indians in Malaysia as the vast majority are state less for no fault of their doing. 

I said then that a reliable NGO had mentioned that over 66,000 Indians were reliably learnt not to possess valid identification papers thus disentitling the applicants citizenships. 

It has to be noted this figure was never disputed by the government.

Without proper documents-citizenship, their rights to formal education and to vote during the general elections are forfeited, and they don't have EPF contributions, SOCSCO and such other benefits a Malaysian citizen will possess.

When the My Daftar campaign was launched, MIC had identified over 15, 000 people who are without identification papers and thus stateless. Of this number, apparently only 6,000 people received the necessary papers. 

Recently it was revealed that over 300,000 Indians are still stateless. If this is true, then the whole blame is definitely on the present BN Government which has been discriminatory against the Indians.
The fact that this long standing issue cannot be resolved makes the BN slogan of People First ring hollow.

I am glad  that the Penang government under the leadership of YAB Lim Guan Eng has decided to help tackle this issue. The state government has decided to appoint 5 full time officers to assist the stateless persons in their applications. 

Nevertheless, this issue is a federal government matter and the federal government must show its commitment and sincerity to resolve the issue. 

I call on the federal government to grant an amnesty to all stateless persons who have proof they were born in this country.

In any case if the present BN Government fails to settle this issue, Pakatan Rakayt, if elected to helm Putrajaya government at the next general election, will address it on a win win basis.

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