MyIndians doing their work to solve citizenship issues

January 15th, 2012 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
 Subscribe in a reader | Subscribe by Email



Had the pleasure of volunteering with MyIndians last year for education workshop. They are also focusing on citizenship issues, so this is another avenue for community to get help. Contact them at www.myindians.com or click on MyIndians link at the sidebar of this website.

Statelessness — in which a person is without nationality or citizenship — is a social problem in Malaysia in which the numbers involved remain vague.

According to sources, there might be up to half a million unregistered and unrecognised Indians here.

However, since October last year, an independent portal, MyIndians.com, has been acting as a connecting medium for Stateless Indians to help each other.

Despite carrying out its work with little fanfare, the website accumulated 20,000 registered members and garners about 125,000 visitors a month.

The portal is manned by a team of less than a dozen officers, led by author-columnist Datin Vasanthi Ramachandran.

“Over the past year, we have helped about 3,000 cases, most of them concerning birth certificates and MyKad issues,” she said.

“Many of these Stateless Indians are poorly informed and live in fear of being found out, and it takes a lot of effort to convince them to trust us so we could help them.”

MyIndians.com promotes a community-helps-community concept via its “Helping Hands” section, where those in need of financial, educational or medical assistance can file in their cases which are then highlighted on the website for registered members to help.

When The Malay Mail visited MyIndians’ office in Jalan Desa Kiaramas, Mont Kiara, recently, Vasanthi and her team were preparing a holiday education programme for academically under-performing children, aged 10 to 15.

“Most of these children only know Tamil. They have little communication skills, so they have problems expressing themselves. We have come up with a fun, interactive programme so they don’t get bored and, at the same time, are inspired by what they learn,” said Vasanthi.

“We are doing what we can but more members of the community need to come forward and help, too.”

Cases resolved by ‘MyIndians.com’

• TWIN boys Kenny Jayraj Selvaraj and Kevin Suraj Selvaraj, 14, were adopted when they were just a few days old, by Selvaraj Amalraj and Josephine Retnam. The siblings were given up by their 17-year-old mother who was unable to care for them as she did not have Malaysian citizenship, resulting in the twins being issued red identification cards. The boys have since applied for citizenship on two occasions but their applications were rejected by the National Registration Department (NRD).

However, after discussing the matter with NRD officers and with the assistance of MyIndians.com staff, Selvaraj was advised to track down the twins’ biological parents. Their biological mother was traced, allowing for the necessary changes to be made to their birth certificates. The twins have now been awarded citizenship.

• Sarveswaran Saravanan, 13, had not been attending school as he did not have a birth certificate or identification card. Sarveswaran also could not be registered as his natural father was unreachable.

His mother, Packiam Gopal, was hesitant to seek assistance for fear of being penalised for not providing relevant information pertaining to the boy’s father. However, with the help of MyIndians.com, both mother and son have since submitted their application and been interviewed by the NRD.

• Sudagar Sadrasagaran, 31, never applied for a MyKad due to financial and personal issues. Also, his natural mother could not contacted. To obtain a birth certificate from the NRD, it is compulsory to have information on the applicant’s mother. With the help of MyIndians.com, the required documents were successfully traced. He is now a proud owner of a MyKad.

• Santiyah Mugunthan, aged four, could not be registered as her parents’ “marriage” was not legally binding. MyIndians.com provided assisted to the family by linking them to the relevant agencies, including the Social Welfare Department. Santiyah’s parents are now all smiles as Santiyah finally has a birth certificate.

• Suganthan Manivanan, aged one, was registered without his father’s details as his parents separated and, due to personal reasons, his father refused to cooperate. MyIndians.com discussed this case with the NRD and since then, both of Suganthan’s parents have registered their marriage. The authorities agreed to make the necessary amendments to the child’s birth certificate.

• Kaithiri Vengathiyah, 12, was given up for adoption because of financial restraints. Vengatiyah Chandariah and Sellamah Polliah raised Kaithiri as their own when she was only a few days old. Due to the lack of information on the biological parents, Kaithiri never received a birth certificate.

MyIndians.com advised her foster parents to track down the biological mother, who then gave consent enabling the NRD to proceed. Kaithiri received her birth certificate last month and is now due to receive her MyKad, too.

source: http://mmail.com.my/content/86444-website-help-indians

Advertisement

2 comments

  1. Yogesvaran says:

    I’ve two nieces who have brith certificate which stated Non citizenship status. Reason their mother no document and she has left the children when they’re still small and don’t know wherebout. They also did not register their marriage. When we approach to apply under the father’s name, it is not allow. Therefore, we apply through my sister who already has 3 grown up children. Eventhough, they received the birth certificates but it stated as Non-Citizenship.Due to that they unable to receive free text book and we are worried about their future in education.

    We appreciate it if could assist us. I can be contacted at 016-2235529

    Thanks,

    Yogesvaran

    • poobalan says:

      Hi Yogevaran,

      did the dept provide reason why not allowed to register under father’s name? you may need to consider doing paternity test to prove that he is the father. By right, the children should be granted citizenship if father is malaysian.

      even if applied under your sister name, they won’t be given citizenship if there’s no proof of birth.

      i assume the mother is foreigner?

      try contact MyDaftar or DHRRa malaysia to help as they can provide better advice based on other cases they dealt with.

      http://www.dhrramalaysia.org.my/v4/

      http://taskforceindiancommunity.blogspot.com/

      you may also consider talking to malaysian human rights party (hindraf). go to humanrightspartymalaysia.com

      another organisation that may be able to help is http://www.helpinghands.my/