KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — The National Registration Department (NRD) does not record how many stateless children are in Malaysia, said Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
In a parliamentary reply, the deputy prime minister and home minister said this was because individuals considered stateless were not recognised by the government.
"Based on the definition, stateless individuals should not be able to be in Malaysia as they would not have the necessary documents,” he said.
He added that some claiming to be stateless were in fact illegal immigrants trying to obtain local citizenship by hiding their true nationalities.
Ahmad Zahid was responding to Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, who asked the Home Ministry to state how many stateless children were in the country and if they were allowed access to education here.
On the latter, Ahmad Zahid said it was a matter for the Education Ministry.