Malaysia to resolve ethnic Indians’ citizenship issues

December 31st, 2010 - 1:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Dec 31 (IANS) Malaysia will launch a nationwide “My Daftar” (my office) campaign next February to resolve problems faced by ethnic Indians who do not have relevant documents pertaining to their birth, identification and citizenship.Human Resources Minister S. Subramaniam, himself an ethnic Indian, said the campaign, to be held from Feb 19 to Feb 26 will be organised by the Special Implementation Task force on the Indian Community in collaboration with the home ministry.

It would seek to identify individuals who possess birth certificates but have not applied for a MyKad, and those who do not possess a birth certificate and, therefore, were unable to get a MyKad. MyKad is the basic identity card a Malaysian must possess to be eligible for any facility from the government.

Subramaniam is also the head of the task force.

“The campaign will also target children who do not have birth certificates and are unable to go to school. We will also look into cases where children and young people in residential homes run by the welfare department and voluntary organisations do not have sufficient documentation,” he was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times.

There are many in Malaysia’s 2.1 million Indian population who did not register their births or register as citizens, when the country became independent from the British rule in 1957.

A bulk of them Tamils, they constitute eight percent of a multi-ethnic population of 28 million.

Subramaniam said the National Registration Department offices in 30 towns in nine states, namely Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Pahang, Negri Sembilan, Malacca and Johor, will set up special counters to process applications.

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