PUTRAJAYA – Children in a limbo over their citizenship have the right to attend government schools while they are applying to be Malaysians, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today.
“While their (Malaysian citizenship) application is being processed, the Education Ministry will allow such children to attend school with a blanket approval,” Ahmad Zahid told reporters after officiating the Home Ministry’s monthly assembly here.
“Those having issues in enrolling their children can refer their case to the Education Ministry for a faster resolution.”
Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said citizenship application documents submitted to the National Registration Department (NRD) should suffice for the schools so that the affected children can pursue their education. The NRD is under the home ministry.
“The NRD receives no less than 100,000 applications for the MyKid identity cards and there are 11 categories which some of these children fall under which contribute to the delay or rejection of approval.
“Some of the reasons which cause delays are applications involving children born out of wedlock, or adopted children whose adoption process or documentation were not completed yet.
“In fact, there have been cases where local men with foreign spouses gave birth abroad before returning back to Malaysia,” he added.
Ahmad Zahid was responding to reports of a seven-year-old girl who had been denied admission to a school in Seremban, Negri Sembilan pending her citizenship application.
The girl known as Dasrhana who was adopted just days after she was born in Seremban in November 2011, was denied entry to the school as she did not possess a proper passport and is presently classified as a non-citizen due to lack of information about her biological parents.
Her adoptive parents lorry driver B. Ganesan, 46, and wife V. Malliga, 48, were recognised as her legal guardians when their adoption was legally completed in 2015.
It is learnt that the Education Ministry has since granted a pass to allow Darshana to attend school following an appeal.