A rights group has urged the government of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim to intervene in the plight of four siblings denied Malaysian citizenship despite fulfilling constitutional provisions.
Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) said Putrajaya's refusal to acknowledge the citizenship rights of Aziq Fadyan, 24; Azreen Batrisya, 22; Azzahra Batrisya, 12; and nine-year old Azalea Batrisya, had forced them to live as stateless persons.
LFL adviser N Surendran also told Anwar that he had a moral duty to help the family.
"We defended Anwar when he was oppressed," the former PKR MP, who represented the prime minister at the time, said.
"And now these children are oppressed and he who was oppressed is now the PM and can now save this family from oppression with a stroke of a pen."
All four siblings were born in the country to Malaysian father Fadil Saharudin and an Indonesian mother.
Their marriage was solemnised in Indonesia and Malaysia in 1998, prior to the birth of the four children, LFL said.
As such, LFL said, they were entitled to citizenship under several provisions of the constitution, namely Article 14(1)(b) and Part II Second Schedule, Sections 1(a) and 1(e).
LFL said that with no citizenship, the siblings could not enrol for public education or healthcare facilities, and faced difficulty landing jobs.
"They cannot do the most basic things like opening a bank account or getting a driving licence or getting a proper job for a fair salary," said LFL.
"The government bears total responsibility for the discrimination, humiliation and suffering of these young stateless Malaysians.
"Though they are faultless, the government has unreasonably and cruelly made them endure the terrible life that stateless persons are subjected to," it said, adding that Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail must urgently intervene.
It also called on Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek to quickly ensure that the two youngest siblings, Azzahra and Azalea, can enrol in a government school without further delay.
LFL said their case was just one among tens of thousands of similar cases in Malaysia, where many stateless children suffer due to the authorities' refusal to abide by the law.
Earlier this year, legal experts and rights activists warned Putrajaya against a plan to amend a constitutional provision which would victimise tens of thousands of stateless people.
They said the proposal to remove Section 1(e) of the Second Schedule of Part 2 of the constitution would have a devastating effect on those who are stateless due to the circumstances of their birth.
They also hit out at the proposal to remove Section 19B of the Second Schedule Part 3, which they said would take away the right of abandoned children or orphans to citizenship.