PETALING JAYA: The schooling year for 2013 starts today and yet 49,000 Malaysian children cannot attend school because they lack proper papers which certify them as Malaysian, PKR vice- president N Surendran claimed today.

These children are deemed to be stateless due to the government denying them birth certificates and MyKads.

Surendran said this number is based on census data and population statistics, adding that his claim did not include figures in Sabah and Sarawak, which could be even higher.

He said the National Registration Department’s (NRD) statistics showed that in Sabah, there are about 50,000 eligible persons lacking proper documentation.

“It is shocking and inexcusable that children are being denied schooling in Malaysia. The Barisan Nasional government is aware of the problem but has failed to resolve it,” he said in a press statement.

He cited two orphans, Hari (12) and Haran (14), who have never been to school because the NRD has refused to issue them with MyKads.

“Until today, their homeless shelter continues to make attempts to enrol them in school,” he added.
Surendran highlighted two more cases in Perak and Johor involving nine-year-old Sri Darchatinni and 10-year-old Logeswaran Sarathrajan, who have been turned down repeatedly by the schools because they are officially not Malaysian citizens.

He is appalled at the actions of the government and saddened by the plea of concerned parents which seem to always fall on deaf ears.

“Although these children are Malaysians born here, they are forced to register as foreigners and have to pay additional fees,” he said, referring to stateless children who are allowed to enrol in school by kind school administrators.

He added that they face problems registering for exams and are not able to attend university.
Surendran cited the controversial case of 17-year-old, B Reshina, who remains without proper documentation despite a public campaign on her behalf last year.

“These children are citizens by operation of law by virtue of Article 14 of the Federal Constitution. It forbids any child from being rendered stateless in Malaysia,” he said.

He called upon Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and the government to resolve this issue quickly without having more children to suffer.

Source: FreeMalaysiaToday