The NRD wants the two siblings – aged 12 and 14 – to bring their parents who had abandoned them six years ago to ascertain their citizenship status.
PETALING JAYA: The government-run ‘My Daftar’ programme to get identification papers for stateless Indians is not such a success as being claimed by various Barisan Nasional political parties.
The documents issued by the National Registration Department is inadequate. One particular case is where two stateless children received birth certificates under the programme, but without being given Malaysian citizenship.
Hari and Haran, brothers aged 14 and 12 respectively, live under the care of a shelter for underprivileged children, Agathians Shelter in Petaling Jaya.They have been living here for the past six years.
A shelter council member, M Sivabalan told FMT that the children were left under his care in 2006 by then MIC president’s wife, Indrani Samy Vellu.
The children did not have their birth certificates with them.
“Indrani promised to help to get birth certificates for them but refused to even pick up our calls after leaving them with us. We even approached Samy Vellu for help but nothing came forth,” said Sivabalan.
He also said they have tried talking to the then Women, Family and Community Development deputy minister G Palanivel, but claimed the latter did not even offer an appointment date.
“Since then, we have approached the NRD, the Home Ministry and many other departments as well as several politicians including current Petaling Jaya Selatan MP Hee Loy Sean.
“But we keep hitting a dead end until Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak announced the My Daftar programme for stateless people last February. We immediately re-applied,” said Sivabalan.
The birth certificates duly arrived in September last year but much to Sivabalan’s shock, the children’s citizenship status were indicated as “belum ditentukan” (yet to be ascertained).
They immediately took the matter to the NRD office at Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam but were reprimanded by the officers there for being troublesome.
“They reprimanded me for making too much noise for mere two children, saying there are 50,000 stateless children in their waiting list,” said Sivabalan.
On why they refused to grant the children citizenship despite the premier’s promise, Sivabalan claimed that the NRD officers told him that they could not grant citizenship without the children’s parents being present.
“We tried to locate their parents by putting up articles in major English, Malay and Tamil dailies but no one came to claim them. It’s obvious the parents have abandoned them” he said.
A check on the documents also showed that NRD had indicated the children’s race and religion as “maklumat tidak diperolehi” ( information not available)
Due to the problem, Sivabalan added Hari and Haran were not able to attend school for the past six years.
“Even with their new birth certificates, they are still not allowed to attend any school due to their citizenship status,” he said.
Sivabalan said that he was worried for the children’s future as currently they are only being taught several subjects by volunteers.
“Hari is too old to attend school now but I can still send him to some skills training programme . Haran is still young and can be sent to school. We just need their citizenship,” said Sivabalan.
Sharing his views, a shy Hari said he loved to study and said at times, he would ask his friends on what they studied on the day.
Hari also said he was unaware of his parents’ whereabout but claimed that his father had died and his mother had abandoned them.
“But I remember having two older siblings and another younger brother but I don’t know where they are now,” said Hari.