LUBOK ANTU, March 29: A parliamentarian today urged the federal government to make it easier for foreign spouses who have been married to locals for a very long time to apply for permanent resident (PR) status.
Lubok Antu MP Jugah Muyang argued that the government ought to show sympathy and affection to the plight of this group of people as there are many stateless Sarawakians.
In a statement, he revealed that his constituency had many stateless children due to reasons such as their parents marrying foreigners, late marriage registrations, religious obstacles and not registering newborns with the National Registration Department (NRD) within the stipulated time frame as they live in remote places.
“In the end, the children suffer. They are deprived of many benefits, including receiving a proper education,” he lamented.
Jugah added that because they are stateless, they would not be able to apply for `Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH)’, for instance.
“These children will not get the same treatment as other Malaysian children as they are not eligible to receive `Skim Pinjaman Buku Teks’, for example. Only a handful managed to enter public universities, but the fees they have to pay are the same as those paid by foreign students.
“In addition, they are also not eligible to borrow educational loans from the government,” he pointed out. — DayakDaily