Proper procedure, execution needed in giving stateless citizenship, says group

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PETALING JAYA: Rights group Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) has welcomed the home ministry’s initiative to offer stateless persons a one year window to apply for citizenship, but called for proper procedure and execution of the process.

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It said the initiative is a sign the government is finally willing to address the issue of statelessness in Malaysia, which has “caused untold suffering”.

In a statement, LFL coordinator Zaid Malek urged the government to leave no room for ambiguity in the application process. “The home ministry must be clear on what kind of documentation is needed for the application.”

He suggested that the National Registration Department (JPN) draft a proper checklist and advise stateless persons on how to submit their applications.

Documentation required by JPN must be reasonable and in line with the provisions of the Federal Constitution, he said, adding that stateless persons generally lack any proper and formal form of identification.

“If it is clear that the applicant is entitled to citizenship, lack of documentation cannot be a bar to confirming the citizenship of the applicant,” he said.

Zaid said a common issue faced by JPN is the ability to distinguish between those trying to apply for citizenship and those who qualify for it.

“The latter is usually denied the right to apply under Article 14 of the Federal Constitution, despite fulfilling the criteria under the said provision.

“Without proper procedures and execution, this move will ultimately be for naught.”

Yesterday, Selangau MP Baru Bian urged the home ministry to review the requirements for citizenship application by stateless individuals and extend the application window.

Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin had said on Monday the process to help stateless individuals apply for citizenship was being drafted. – FMT Documentation required by JPN must be reasonable and in line with the provisions of the Federal Constitution, he said, adding that stateless persons generally lack any proper and formal form of identification.

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“If it is clear that the applicant is entitled to citizenship, lack of documentation cannot be a bar to confirming the citizenship of the applicant,” he said.

Zaid said a common issue faced by JPN is the ability to distinguish between those trying to apply for citizenship and those who qualify for it.

“The latter is usually denied the right to apply under Article 14 of the Federal Constitution, despite fulfilling the criteria under the said provision.

“Without proper procedures and execution, this move will ultimately be for naught.”

Yesterday, Selangau MP Baru Bian urged the home ministry to review the requirements for citizenship application by stateless individuals and extend the application window.

Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin had said on Monday the process to help stateless individuals apply for citizenship was being drafted.- FMTDocumentation required by JPN must be reasonable and in line with the provisions of the Federal Constitution, he said, adding that stateless persons generally lack any proper and formal form of identification.

“If it is clear that the applicant is entitled to citizenship, lack of documentation cannot be a bar to confirming the citizenship of the applicant,” he said.

Zaid said a common issue faced by JPN is the ability to distinguish between those trying to apply for citizenship and those who qualify for it.

“The latter is usually denied the right to apply under Article 14 of the Federal Constitution, despite fulfilling the criteria under the said provision.

“Without proper procedures and execution, this move will ultimately be for naught.”

Yesterday, Selangau MP Baru Bian urged the home ministry to review the requirements for citizenship application by stateless individuals and extend the application window.

Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin had said on Monday the process to help stateless individuals apply for citizenship was being drafted.- FMT

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