SOP needed to resolve stateless children issue: Kulai MP

KULAI: Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching has proposed other political parties work together to work out a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the application for Malaysia citizenship, as a one-off solution for stateless children which amount to 290,437 nationwide.

"I am willing to work with other political parties who are committed to helping the stateless children in Malaysia," she said at the Kulai parliamentary service centre here today.

Three stateless siblings, Ek Yu Wen, 22, Ek Zong Wei, 20, and Ek Zong Sheng ,18, accompanied by their father Ek Diew Ging, 65, and mother Shirlin, 40, approached Teo for help.

Ek Diew Ging, a Malaysian, married his Indonesian wife Shirlin in 1994 in a traditional Chinese ceremony. The couple officially registered their union under marriage law in 2001.

Although Shirlin became a permanent citizen three years ago, their children are still stateless.

Ek Yu Wen dreams of becoming a kindergarten teacher but is unable to pursue her passion because she is not a citizen and does not own a MyKad.

Her two younger brothers, Ek Zong Wei, 20 and Ek Zong Sheng,18 also had to abandon their plans to further their studies because they are stateless.

According to Teo, the siblings have submitted citizenship applications four times since 2010.

The fourth rejection letter was received on June 25, this year. Their fourth application also included DNA reports from the chemistry department.

Teo said she had brought the issue up in Parliament last year.

"We need to work out a SOP to help this group of people because it is not a few individuals, but thousands of people, the actual figure is much higher than the official number of 290,437."

However, Teo said she will file a judicial review on the Ek siblings' case at the High Court to challenge the decision by the Home Ministry.