Thursday, July 24, 2008


What about holders of red IC?
Prioritise children of M’sians born outside country in citizenship application, call


In granting citizenship, priority should be given to the children of Sabahans who are born outside Malaysia and holding red identity card, said Umno Penampang Division Chief Datuk John Ambrose. Attention should be given to the plight of red IC holders first instead of raising the possibility of giving citizenship to illegal immigrants who, have lived in Sabah for 15 years or more, he said here yesterday in reference to the recent proposal by the Federation of Sabah Chinese Associations. The proposal by the Federation drew fire from Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) Women Chief Melanie Chia, who described it as “mind-’ boggling and unwarranted”. “These children having Malaysian parents from Sabah are in a quandary since the country gained independence because they are born outside Malaysia and couldn’t get Malaysian citizenship,” he said. According to John, many Malaysians of Sabah origin have had worked in foreign countries and their children were born there before they returned to Sabah. “But the law of the country is strict on this matter and the children are in limbo,” he said, adding that the Government should look into the problem seriously. John said he knows of several parents whose children are holding “For example, my Divisional Secretary (Umno Penampang Division) is married to a lady whose parents are locals but had worked in Brunei, where she was born. Although she possesses red IC, she can’t get Malaysian citizenship, unlike her siblings who are born in Sabah,” he said. “Late last month I broached the subject with Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Sen Naib Tun Razak and also the Minister of Home Affairs, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar. They promised to look into this,” he said. John said Malaysia practises humane settlement of illegal immigrants issue but the “nearest problem” concerns the children of Sabahans who are born outside the country and holding red IC should be dealt with first.

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