A special task force unit will be formed to immediately address the citizenship issue affecting the Chinese community in Sarawak.
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, in announcing this today said that the long-standing problem will be handled by the state Registration Department (JPN), reported The Borneo Post.
“This is a task force set up to address the stateless problem which has affected other communities including the Iban, Indian and other races, even those in Sabah and Peninsular,” he said.
Zahid was responding to the issue raised by Local Government Minister Sim Kui Hian at the Chinese New Year celebration gathering at Imperial Hotel in Kuching earlier today.
He acknowledged that the stateless Chinese who were born and live in the state and abide by its laws should be eligible to be a citizen of Malaysia according to the Constitution.
Pledging commitment from the federal government, Zahid pointed out: “The task force will register non-citizens of Malaysia residing in Sarawak and those stipulated under Federal Constitution Clause 19 (1) will be addressed immediately by the Registration Department.”
He called on all political parties, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and associations to come together in a concerted effort to address this issue.