Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is the first prime minister to take action to resolve documentation problems involving the Indian community. Such a move and approach was well lauded by the Indians and the MIC (here).
Kudos, Mr PM.
However, I don't recall any effort by the PM and his Cabinet to find solution to about 500,000 'statelessness' people in Malaysia, of whom 90 per cent Malays (and Muslims) of Indonesian origin.
While Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein can boast 'the success' of his ministry in processing 219,485 backlogged documentation cases such as citizenship and birth certificate applications in the past two years, this stateless people have been long ignored.
I am not sure what system is applied when considering one's application for a birth certificate, PR or citizenship but I believe we have defied the rights of some people who are supposed to be the legitimate Malaysian citizens!
I have been to Sabah and Sarawak, met and talked to 'Malaysians' with no status, no citizenship whereas they were born, brought up, studied, work and STAY in the country.
And since the day they were born, they never left the country even for a single day. Most of them are above 20 now, some even above 30. Their biological parents are Indonesians who came to Malaysia decades ago to work and die here.
So, shall we just chase them out of the country when by international convention and our immigration law, they deserve to be Malaysians. And by being Malaysians, they have the rights to vote. I am sure if they are given such a title, they will be more than happy to vote for Barisan Nasional.
Also, in Kelantan where the descendants of 'Siam' mostly stay, study and work. They too were born in our compound and never left the country.
In Johor where many Javanese from Indonesia migrated many years ago, their Malaysian-born children are deprived of all rights enjoyed by other Malaysians.
I met and know many of them, who found it difficult to work and feed their family as they do not carry any identification card. If you may ask them, they will choose to stay in Malaysia since they were born here, speak Bahasa Malaysia which Najib, Hisham and other speak. Aren't they not Malaysians?
To the Home Ministry, they must find the right mechanism to solve this issue. If we can simplify other procedures pertaining to PR and citizenship application by foreigners, then why can't we attend to this people without any citizenship status?
They are not even refugees whom we treat much better in some aspects.
Or, we just need to ignore them!