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By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, May 26: It is high time that all genuine Sarawakians should have proper documentation, said Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.
As such he urged the National Registration Department (NRD) to draw up a strategic plan to provide proper documents to genuine Sarawakians.
He added that during former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration, PRS had been tasked to lead a task force to address the issue.
“The exercise then was very successful but what we need now is a continuous effort by the present federal government through the NRD to provide documentation for our undocumented citizens,” Masing told DayakDaily when contacted today.
He stressed that the problems in Sarawak was two-fold.
“Firstly, many genuine citizens do not have proper documentation because their parents were unable to register them with the NRD on time. And thus, after a certain period, they do not possess any legal documents. And secondly, some parents think that there was no reason for them to register their children with NRD as they were living in the rural areas,” he highlighted.
Masing who is also Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development reiterated that without documentation, stateless Sarawakians would be just like illegal immigrants without any rights.
“Without proper documentations, you are not what you think you are. So, it is crucial for parents to register their children within 40 days after they are born,” he said.
He said that stateless Sarawakians would be deprived of benefits provided by the government including healthcare, financial assistance and education.
Masing was commenting on Sarawak Suhakam Commissioner Dr Madeline Berma’s statement today that the livelihood of the indigenous people without citizenship status in Sarawak were the most affected and thus need greatest assistance during Movement Control Order (MCO).
Masing was commenting on Sarawak Suhakam Commissioner Dr Madeline Berma’s statement today that the livelihood of the indigenous people without citizenship status in Sarawak were the most affected and thus need greatest assistance during Movement Control Order (MCO).—DayakDaily