‘Stateless’ Indians Sue Govt

KUALA LUMPUR: Three Malaysian “stateless Indians” have filed a suit against Putrajaya at the High Court here today in a move, which their lawyer said, signalled their despondency over the ruling coalition’s lack of political will to resolve the longstanding issue.

The three, represented by N Surendran who is also PKR vice-president, said they named the Home Ministry, the National Registration Department and the Malaysian government as defendants.

Speaking to reporters later, the human rights lawyer said S Letchumy, K Sarojini and K Mala were part of a larger problem facing thousands of Malaysian Indians allegedly denied citizenship.

“They are asking for a court order on the defendants to immediately issue a MyKad which they have unlawfully denied. They are also asking for a declaration that their fundamental rights have been violated and are claiming for damages,” he said.

The filing came just two days before the opposition bloc planned to hold a sit-in outside the NRD office to protest against the alleged systematic effort by the authorities to deprive the minority Indians of their basic rights.

Malaysian Indians, who form less than 10% of the country’s population, are among the poorest.

The majority of them have no basic education and Surendran said one of the major reasons was that their citizenship status, despite being born in Malaysia, remained unknown.

“Both Letchumy and Sarojini did not go to school because they have no IC (identification card),” he said.

Surendran claimed that there were currently 300,000 “stateless Indians”.

His colleague in PKR R Sivarasa said this was a conservative figure based on their calculation.

The Subang MP cited the report, made by chief statistician of Malaysia, R Chander, to show that the population growth for the Indians was below the projection, alleging that this meant the numbers of those left out by NRD could be more.

Putrajaya dismissed the accusation that it was intentionally victimising the Indians as baseless but admitted that the problem was real with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak vowing to solve the problem.

Surendran said the suit would have a larger impact and force the government to respond.
“It’s a damning indictment on their failure to resolve the issue,” he said.

Source: FreeMalaysiaToday