Resolve Child’s Education Restriction or Resign Immediately

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) is appalled by the inaction of the Ministry of Education in addressing the denial of access to school by the Immigration Department of Malaysia.

Despite the assurance by the Deputy Prime Minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on 11 January 2017[1] that the Ministry of Education would allow children to attend school even while their application is being processed; and the denial by the director-general of Immigration, Mustafar Ali that his department has not issued any circular to this effect[2], more cases where children are denied from attending school due to the circular by the Immigration Department has surfaced[3].

Malaysia have obligations protect and promote the right of the child irrespective of their status and origin. The rights enshrined under Article 28(1)(a) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child requires the Malaysia government to provide primary education for all. There is absolutely no excuse for a child born in the country and raised and cared for by Malaysian parents to be denied equal opportunity solely based on the failure of the Malaysian government in addressing the issue of statelessness in the country.

If the claims by the respective authorities are conclusive, there is no justification for the continued denial of children from attending school. The Ministry of Education MUST issue an immediate circular or order to resolve the matter and implement the policy they promised.

If the ministers or their ministry are unable to provide remedy immediately and put an end to the policy of rejecting stateless children that is seemingly binding school across Malaysia despite their claims, the Ministers in question should resign as they have clearly shown the country that they are unable to control their respective ministries.

In Solidarity

Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director
SUARAM

[1] http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/dpm-kids-have-blanket-approval-to-attend-school-pending-citizenship-nod#qCGYCQJW9EJU5REj.97

[2] http://www.imi.gov.my/images/fail_kenyataan_media/2018/1_jan/daftar-sekolah.pdf

[3] P Thevasegamani in Klang (http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/in-selangor-another-stateless-child-awaits-citizenship-to-attend-school#Q6lrGkro8q81eXD2.97) & 7 others in Penang (http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2018/01/12/more-stateless-children-turned-away-from-school/)