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Sayang Sabah - The voice of Sabahans

The fate of Stateless Children in Sabah

Minister of Community Development Affairs Datuk Jainab Ahmad Ayid (centre) interviewed by reporters after the presentation of grant to volunteers and NGOs organisations. - Photo by Ille Tugimin/SayangSabah
Minister of Community Development Affairs Datuk Jainab Ahmad Ayid (centre) interviewed by reporters after the presentation of grant to volunteers and NGOs organisations. – Photo by Ille Tugimin/SayangSabah

KOTA KINABALU – The issue on stateless children in Sabah is long overdue.

These children were born in Sabah without documentation and don’t have a place to call home. The struggle faced by the government in handling this problem had reach to a point of no end.

“We don’t know where to send these children and they have become a nuisance to the public by creating social problems. So one of the measures that we are looking into is by giving them training,” said the Minister of Community Development and Consumers Affairs Datuk Jainab Ahmad Ayid at the Sabah Council of Social Services (MPMS) presentation of grant to volunteers and NGOs organisations, today.

However, Jainab stressed that the stateless children will not be given citizenship despite the recommendations to provide them with training.

“This will be strictly based on the discretion of the technical committee lead by Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan. On our side, we will only give recommendations and suggestions to tackle the issue,” she added.

When asked on the suggestion by Sabah Indian Muslim Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Datuk Baisul Khan Salman Faris to give temporary working pass to the stateless youth in Sabah; Jainab said she would bring the matters to the technical committee for them to take necessary action.

To date, the number of street children living in Sabah according to a source from the Philippine and Indonesia are approximately 50,000 and 150,000 children respectively. – By Fizah Yusof/SayangSabah

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