DPM announces task force to help Malaysian Chinese in Sarawak yet to acquire citizenship

KUCHING: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today a special task force will be set up to help Malaysian Chinese in Sarawak who have yet to acquire citizenship.

The task force would come under the jurisdiction of the Sarawak National Registration Department, he said.

"I am very concerned with this non-citizenship issue and I am very committed to see an end to this problem.

"It has affected the (Malaysian) Indians and Orang Asli in peninsular Malaysia and the natives in East Malaysia," he said at a Chinese New Year gathering jointly organised by the state government and the Kuching South Chinese Community, here.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said mobile units would be made available under the exercise to reach out to and help those living in the remote areas of the state.

On another matter, Ahmad Zahid said he would instruct the Education Minister to conduct an in-depth study and make recommendations with regard to the non-recognition of the United Education Certificate (UEC) at the national level.

"Once we have the recommendations, we can bring the matter up to the Cabinet for a decision," he said.

At the moment, Sarawak is the only state to officially recognise the UEC.

Ahmad Zahid also called on the Chinese community in Sarawak to work closely with the police to prevent and combat crime.

He said society's engagement with the police in the matter was important because police presence alone was no deterrent to the occurrence of crime.

"Modern policing is about engaging the society or community. This can contribute to effective reduction in the crime index," he said, adding that the national crime index, in fact, had gone down by 40%.

"But this has not been realised or felt by the public at large due to the widespread petty crimes.

"Thus, the public perception is that the country's crime index is still bad. This negative preception also brings about a negative perception of the police," he said. — Bernama