Posted in Indian

Resolve our own problem of statelessness first

By N. Ganesan

(Hindraf national advisor)

The problem among the Indian poor, attempting to live normal productive lives without MyKad, without birth certificate and with red identity card continues in spite of the statistics issued from time to time by government agencies like Special Implementation Task Force (SITF) or by outsourced BN partner NGOs like Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (DHRRA).  All of this points to the failure of current policy of the BN government in providing the basic right of citizenship to this most vulnerable segment of our society.

This failure is attributed in official circles to the lackadaisical attitudes of the currently stateless people. The BN government’s programmes to address this problem are symptomatic of this understanding of the problem. Much of the effort has been of the outreach type. Meaning, if you get out to them you will be able to fix the problem. The results however tell a different story and the problem continues unabated.

This approach indicates a gross misunderstanding of the situation. This misunderstanding cannot all be attributed to incompetence of the administrators concerned, for there are significant advantages to the ruling elite in treating the problem this way. In our ethno-centrically structured political system where votes are gained or lost on the basis of ethnicity (unfortunate but true), it certainly benefits the BN Government to keep this problem simmering. How else does one justify watertight rules for citizenship for these people, while there is such a large pool of foreigners operating in our country without proper registration?

The chronic nature of this problem of statelessness among the Indian poor is reflected through some recent statistics put out by the DHRRA and SITF. This data can best be treated as sample information only and not to be understood as representing the entire problem. Yet it does yield insight:

Click to enlarge

Data Stateless

Yet these numbers suggest a much smaller problem than what exists out there. Hindraf believes the problem to be very much larger – probably of one order of magnitude greater than that suggested by the SITF data. The data does not include all those who have not been touched by any of these programmes (and we come across such people every so often), those who have tried and who have failed in the past and have given up and all those who are still waiting (and we know many who have waited a lifetime already). Then there are new cases springing up all the time. The data surely does not include all these categories of stateless people.

Second, the data clearly shows that a significant portion of the problem remains even after the effort. We can therefore conclude that the outreach approach is limited in its effectiveness and will not cure the problem permanently and comprehensively. The reasons for all those cases unresolved largely represent those that will not be cleared unless there are some decisions made at the policy level.

It was in recognition of these two considerations of reality that Hindraf drew up the following terms to address statelessness with BN government in its Memorandum of Understanding with them prior to the last general election.

Programmes to Address Statelessness among the Malaysian Indian Poor:

1. Identify all Stateless ethnic Indians as well as ethnic Indians without birth certificates, blue IC and those with red IC.

2. Develop common sense and transparent proposals to address the problems of Malaysian Indians who claim to have been born and raised in Malaysia but who do not have any documentary evidence whatsoever of their birth and residency.

3. Develop policies including those that may allow defined local persons of repute are given official standing to issue statutory declarations conveying their opinion that a said stateless person was indeed born and raised in their locality in Malaysia.

4. Develop streamlined and transparent policies to resolve the large problem of all persons who only hold red IC.

5. Develop a system that can differentiate legitimate from non-legitimate citizenship applications from ethnic Indians in Malaysia.

6. Ensure that the common sense and transparent proposals developed should strictly adhere to the provisions of the Federal Constitution.

Hindraf firmly believes that nothing short of such intervention will permanently and sustainably resolve the problem.

In a letter sent yesterday to the Home Minister, Hindraf called upon Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to begin addressing it at the level of policy with Hindraf. The MOU is a binding document and it behooves the BN Government to implement the agreements of addressing the problem at policy level, so that it will not be in breach of contract when the agreement expires in 2018. Hindraf will call upon the top and senior management of the National Registration Department for discussion. We have developed proposals that address the reality in truer terms and propose recommendations to address the issues effectively.

Hindraf is willing to work with the Home Ministry to resolve the issue of statelessness permanently. With the proven failure of past attempts, it would be wise of the Ministry to work with us who have a good understanding of ground realities, if indeed the government is sincere about restoring citizenship to Malaysians who deserve it.


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7 thoughts on “Resolve our own problem of statelessness first

  1. Perhaps it would be wise to address the failure not only of the so called BN side of the ledger but also that of the contra side of the ledger where Indian representatives in this matter and their political parties stand.

    Indians in Malaysia need to be introspective and less ethnocentric when attempting to resolve complex problems as citizenship status poverty, job prospects and the right to residency.

    It is not good enough to adopt the “crying poor me” approach as they have done time and time again in the history of Indian settlement and their politics in Malaysia.

    Reference to the Indians whenever they are in trouble is reference to the Tamil Indian population. However generalized the following point may sound it has a sound historical and evidential basis.

    All Indian political parties are founded, run and managed on a Tamil exclusive basis. It is where their problems lie. And the level of competence and flexibility of the Tamils who run these parties, regardless of their educational backgrounds is evident in the results (or lack of it).

    The Tamils will always find the lowest common denominator to a hand out solution instead of a pro active less confrontational approach to self help and independent solutions to their problems.

    One merely has to examine the general condition of the Kerelites, Gujaratis, Punjabis (even if they ignorantly identify with their religion by referring to themselves as Sikhs instead of Punjabi), Maharashtrians and to some extent Andhrites to see how well the Indian community in fact is, economically, in terms of education and in terms of personal and community achievement.

    When one compares these others of the Indian community and their achievements with that of their Tamil majority counterparts in Malaysia something stands out so starkly. And that something goes to the absence of flexibility, creativity, adjustment, compromise and competence.

    If the Tamils would seek out others within the Indian community at least to assist in running the MIC and Hindraf they may just get somewhere in resolving the many problems they suffer from. And yes they must also jettison the violent approach to politics.

    Sometimes I wonder what the Tamils will have as a platform if their problems of poverty (self induced to a large part) education (also self induced) and citizenship are addressed. What then will they use to condemn the BN?

    1. Why in 2015 are there Indians claiming to be malaysians? Why Why because they have just arrive ma muahahaa..
      These are banglas, tamils, malabar, rohingya all claiming they lost their documents which they dont have any way in the first place. They must have destroyed their indian passports.
      But this actually is not a problem because India under Modi has given out citizens cards Indian Race Cards to all indians migrants all over the world.
      They can come and go to India without visa.
      No more indians migrants. we have enough with Marina and her father and grandfather from Kerala.

  2. This stateless ,we heard of ways back in the 50’s ,60’s , 70’s ,80’s , 90’s , now 2015 we are still hearing of the same issue raised by the Indian leader .

    It’s very curious ,why this is happening to the Indian only ?.

    1. Or more curios still why is it only the Indians are complaining about an issue with its origins in the 1950’s and indeed before that? What does that say about the Indians, their leaders and their mentality. What alternatives to what government has done or not done have Indian leaders other than to bleat on every blog about their plight if it indeed is the case?


      What on earth has the BN got to do with something the Indians alone are culpable for?

      1. This lecture may inform some of us about the socio-religious problems implicit in Indian society.

        University College London Lancet Lecture by Arundhati Roy – “The Half-Life of Caste: The ill-health of a nation”

    2. Its not curious tebing tinggi. Its because there are now more direct flights by that Indian guy Tony Fernandes to Mumbai slums.
      Are you really curious or are you just waiting for my answer muahaha…

  3. Etnik India kena lagi…

    ‘TV personality and actress Sharon Au prompted a minor outcry after she approached the girl, who was sitting in the crowd with an older man, presumably her father.

    “Vat (what) happened, vat happened?” she laughed, wobbling her head from side to side, after the girl stumbled as she tried to repeat a line welcoming athletes to the Games.

    Au, who is ethnic Chinese, also teased the girl about her name, Kavya, calling her “caviar” instead.
    – See more at:

    Haha. Jokes kat dalam rumah terkeluar masa Sea Games nampaknya. Rithmatist tolong komen skit? Rithmatist? Where art thou?? Menyorok bawah Tambak Johor ke?

    Sea Games wor for the world to see projek mencinakan Singapura kelas pertama.

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