Kudos on granting Rohana citizenship but what about others, DAP asks Hamzah

WITH Rohana Abdullah getting Malaysian citizenship upon the prime minister’s intervention, a DAP leader urged the Government to resolve the plight of other stateless people in Malaysia.

“It’s delightful to hear that Rohana had received her citizenship upon approval from Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin. I think this is the best Hari Raya gift for her.

“However, we must not forget the plight of other stateless people who are going through much suffering as well.

“So, can Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Hamzah commit to assist them too? Are they prepared to address the policy gaps in our citizenship law so that other stateless children will not have to go through the suffering Rohana had endured?” asked Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching, in a statement.

Yesterday, 22-year-old Rohana, who raised by Chee Hoi Lan, 83, received her citizenship from Hamzah in an event with 34 others.

“On stage, she (Rohana) cried as she said she had been waiting for a long time for her citizenship.

“She expressed her thanks to the Government. I informed her that we grant citizenship only to eligible individuals,” Free Malaysia Today reported the Larut MP as saying.

Rohana was reportedly abandoned when she was only two months old by her biological mother, an Indonesian citizen, and was cared for by Chee since then, a kindergarten teacher.

On that note, Teo queried Hamzah’s statement who said the Government would only grant citizenship to those eligible, given that Rohana was deemed ineligible for the last 20 years.

“And three months after her plight was highlighted by the media, Rohana suddenly became eligible. What was the criteria used by the Home Ministry to decide on who is eligible and not?” she asked.

Regardless, the former deputy minister urged the Home Ministry to reform its citizenship laws and grant citizenship to stateless children who managed to meet the criteria below:

  • All stateless children, whose father is a Malaysian, shall be given citizenship by producing their DNA test report;
  • All stateless children legally adopted by Malaysian parents shall also be given Malaysian citizenship; and
  • Pursuant to the Federal Court decision on Nov 19, 2021, all newborn children who were left and discovered in a place without any trace of their biological parents are entitled to citizenship by operation of law until the contrary is shown.

Teo remarked: “I plead with the Government to find a permanent solution to end the misery of the stateless children.

“I hope they don’t need to wait for their time to get media exposure before receiving calls from the prime minister or home minister to get what is rightfully theirs.” – April 30, 2022

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