KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah state government will ensure continued protection of its people's rights, including granting of citizenship for genuine Malaysians, said Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
The Sabah Chief Minister was responding to an announcement made by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that 3,407 stateless residents over 60 years-old with red ICs (MyPR) will be granted citizenship.
The citizenship application also included those who are aged below 60, with the condition that they were born in Malaysia and that one of their parents was a citizen.
“Whatever decision from (federal government), if it will affect our state, Sabah government will look into the details on the implementation and facilitate.
“Stateless issue is not only a concern of Malaysia, but also of other countries on how to address it especially when it involved young people,” he said.
Mohd Shafie added that in Sabah, there were a lot of complexity pertaining to granting citizenship.
“It is not only in Sabah, Malaysians in Sarawak such as Iban people are also facing the same issue.
“That is why we have to ensure their eligibility as Sabahans and Sarawakians. We do not want them to be chased out from their country,” he added.
Meanwhile, on talks that the issuance of the citizenship is another “Project IC“, Mohd Shafie assured that such thing would not happen.
“No, we make sure it does not happen as it is part of our manifesto (to safeguard the rights of the people).
“We need to regulate foreign workers, it does not mean that we are giving them identity cards, but it is better to know where they are.” he added. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd