Special taskforce focused on preventing statelessness heading to Long Singut, Kapit to help with documentation issues

Saifuddin (left) addressing a press conference after a ceremony to present citizenship approval letters to children today (March 9, 2023). Also seen are Fatimah (centre) and Rosey.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, March 9: The Home Ministry through its special taskforce will be heading to Long Singut in the interior of Kapit to reach out and help the community there with their registration and documentation problems as part of the ministry’s measures to prevent statelessness.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said realising that rural and remote communities faced documentation problems, the ministry in collaboration with the National Registration Department (NRD) has immediately set up a special taskforce to carry out outreach programmes.


“In Sarawak, the special taskforce has 30 officers with the sole responsibility to assist people with documentation issues.

“We know people in rural or remote areas have difficulty accessing services and some parents also lack knowledge that every newborn and children must be registered within a stipulated time with the NRD,” he said, indicating that late registration of births could lead to many problems including statelessness.

Speaking during a press conference after a ceremony to present citizenship approval letters to 40 Sarawakian children at a hotel here today, Saifuddin emphasised that weakness on the part of applicants in providing all legal documents is the main challenge faced in resolving citizenship issues in the country.

“As such, this time we will be reaching out to these people instead of having to have them come to us (NRD). There will be a huge impact and we have already received several requests for the teams to go down to help these communities with the documentation process,” he added.

On citizenship applications, Saifuddin emphasised that documentation is the most crucial part in order for eligibility and applicants must submit all required legal documents to complete the process.

“All applicants must comply with the basic conditions and among the documents required to prove they are eligible for citizenship including birth certificates of children which must be proven from legal marriage. This will also require a legal marriage certificate.

“So the main challenge is to ensure these applicants can provide all the legal documentation. As such, applicants must be aware that they need to provide the proper and complete documentation and this is also where we need to assist them,” he said.

Minister of Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah, Deputy Minister of Women and Childhood Development Datuk Rosey Yunus, Home Ministry deputy secretary general (Policy and Control) Datuk Mohamad Fauzi Md Isa, permanent secretary to the Ministry of Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Noriah Ahmad and National Registration Department director Dato Ruslin Jusoh were among those present. — DayakDaily