COMMENT | Citizenship has always been a contentious issue. Although the majority of Malaysians are citizens by birth or by operation of law, there are many whose status remains as stateless.
Every now and then, cries labelling certain sections of the population as pendatang (migrant) are heard – from politicians and their ilk who use it as a weapon when their arsenal is near empty.
There are thousands of Malaysians who were born in this country and yet have not been accorded citizenship for various reasons.
The latest is the case of Hew Ling Poa, a 52-year-old grandmother. She remains puzzled why she still holds a permanent resident (PR) status, despite both her parents being Malaysian.
Her younger brother is Malaysian, her late husband is Malaysian, her 25-year-old daughter is Malaysian, and her grandchild is Malaysian. However, Hew, now in her 50s, is still holding a red identity card.
There are similar tales of woe all over the country...