Malaysiakini News

Stateless children should not need political ‘champions’

Stephen Ng  |  Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | At last, some justice for Roisah Abdullah, the stateless STPM top scorer, with the Higher Education Ministry announcing that she would be offered a place in Universiti Utara Malaysia.

Her plight first came to light with the help of PKR’s N Surendran, Latheefa Koya, and Zuraida Kamaruddin, who even filed to be her guardian.

I have seen members of the public offering to fund her studies after learning about her fate, despite being a top student. I myself have also tried to look for possible scholarships from my personal contacts in private universities, and I sincerely hope that more will come forward to give her options.

This is not to compete for publicity, but to show that as fellow Malaysians, we sincerely care for Roisah.

Many more Roisahs

But Roisah is just one individual, many other children remain stateless in Malaysia, through no fault of their own, are and are denied proper education opportunities.

In 2016, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that there are 290,437 stateless children below 18 in the country, belonging to neither Malaysia nor anywhere else.

This brought to mind the story of Pastor Henry Martinus and his wife Serena who had adopted three stateless children – Abigail, who has Down’s syndrome, Isaac and Isabelle...

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