The Sarawak government today said it could not determine the pace at which applications for citizenship for stateless children in Sarawak are processed as the matter lies under the purview of the federal government.
Sarawak Women, Early Childhood and Community Wellbeing Minister Fatimah Abdullah said while it was her ministry’s wish to see the process hastened, it was conducted by the home ministry.
She added that it had not been discussed under the present devolution of power exercise.
“The issue of citizenship, even with reference to the Inter-Governmental Committee Report, MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963) as well as the Federal Constitution, has been agreed to be a federal matter,” she said when replying to Ding Kuong Hiing (GPS-Meradong) at the state assembly sitting today.
Ding had wanted to know whether the state government planned to speed up the process of tackling stateless children issues apart from issuing them temporary documents following the re-establishment of the special committee on citizenship status.
According to Fatimah, the special committee was formed in 2016 to facilitate the consideration of citizenship applications received in Sarawak.