Proud Moment as 1,054 Malaysian Indians Awarded Citizenship
Malaysian Indian Blueprint (MIB) Achieving Incremental Gains
This year, 1054 Malaysian Indians were successful in their application to become Malaysian citizen.
Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak together with Deputy Prime Minister Dato' Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Subramaniam witnessed the hand over of citizenship documents to about 181 successful applicants in the event held in Menara DBKL here on 31/10/17.
These new recipients of Malaysian citizenship would be provided assistance by Socioeconomic Development of the Indian Community Unit (SEDIC) to ensure they are registered for all available Government programs that any citizen would be entitled to, such as BR1M and Welfare. Moreover, they would be channeled to capacity building programs that is being funded by SEDIC throughout the country. It is hoped this would improve their employability as most of the recipients are of the B40 category.
In a testament to Government’s commitment to resolve documentation issues, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak launched the first MyDaftar initiative in February of 2011. The initiative was tasked to identify members of the Indian community who were not in possession of proper identification documents and to assist them in obtaining the necessary documents.
The Mydaftar campaign that was carried out through 2011 to 2015 was organised by the Special Implementation Taskforce (SITF). Significant impact was made by effectively targeting rural residents with mobility issues.
Acknowledging the difficulties of getting the stateless Indians to come out to apply, many organisations have had various outreach programs.
One effective approach was partnering with Indian community NGOs to resolve documentation issues on the ground. DHRRA Malaysia, an NGO that has resolved 7108 cases of documentation since 2003 to 2015. These NGO’s were provided funds to undertake outreach programs through Socioeconomic Development of the Indian Community Unit (SEDIC).
In 2017, in line with the targets set in Malaysian Indian Blueprint (MIB), SEDIC in collaboration with SITF launched the Mega Mydaftar campaign to identify and resolve Malaysian Indians with documentation and citizenship issues.
The Mega Mydaftar campaign was carried out in 23 places nationwide and received 2,500 applications of those without valid documents relating to birth, identity card and citizenship. These applications are being updated and followed up by SITF touch point centres, which were recently launched in 9 Indian centric locations nationwide.
Despite a massive reach out, we acknowledge that there were several factors as to why a person facing these problems was reluctant to register, which included not registering marriage or birth of children and other complex issues, which were historically caused by the isolation of living in the estates. These issues would however be addressed through education and ongoing awareness campaigns. Furthermore, we need to explore changes to policies and procedures towards reducing the average processing time of documentation applications, and simplifying processes, particularly for children and youth.
There is also a need to constitute a team sufficient in size, authority and capacity to work together with NRD and the Home Ministry on policy and processes as well as to collaborate effectively with field partners. One of the steps to resolve this issue is to recruit more Indian officers at NRD (Federal and State) within Indian heavy locations.
With guidance from CCIC Executive Committee chaired by Datuk Dr. S. Subramaniam, Consultative & Advisory Board chaired by Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah and the Prime Minister himself as the CCIC Chairman, we in SEDIC will continuously carry out initiative to once and for all resolve stateless and documentation issues of Malaysian Indians with priority on children and youth, within 5 years of MIB implementation.