by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday , 30th March 1990:
DAP instructs its Party lawyers to prepare to challenge in court the unconstitutional discrimination by Federal Territory Education Department against children who has a parent who is non-Malaysian
DAP has instructed its Party lawyers to prepare to challenge in court the unconstitutional discrimination by Federal Territory Education Department in its latest ruling that children who have a parent who is a non-citizen or holds red identity card cannot be registered for enrolment in advance or choose the school to enrol.
This ruling is highly unconstitutional and a gross violation of basis human rights. The Minister of Education, Anwar Ibrahim, should be thoroughly ashamed that under his leadership, his Ministry could come out with such a directive.
In the firstly, a child whose father is a citizen but mother is non-citizen is a citizen by operation of law, and there is no constitutional ground to discriminate against such a child. Even where the mother is a citizen and the father a non-citizen, the Malaysian Constitution should be amended to make such a child an automatic citizen.
F.T Education Department ruling highly uncivilized as it tantamounts to punishing children because their father or mother married a non-citizen
The Federal Territory Education Department directive tantamounts to punishing children because his father or mother married a non-citizen, and is thoroughly obnoxious and uncivilized!
In most enlightened countries, a child can follow the citizenship of the father or mother. But in Malaysia, we have the reactionary law that if a child has a Malaysian mother but non-Malaysian father, the child is not a Malaysian citizen.
How can Malaysia claim to believe in the equality of the sexes where there is such blatant discrimination against women in the citizenship laws of the country?
The 300,000 red identity holders should be given a special status as distinct from Indonesian and Filipino illegal immigrants
There is in Malaysia the long-standing problem of 300,000 red identity card holders, who are Malaysian citizens for all practical purposes, expect for lack of citizenship papers. They are born, bred and will die there. They have no other country to go to.
When Malaysia established diplomatic relations with China in 1974, MCA and Gerakan leaders promised that these 300,000 stateless people in Malaysia will be given Malaysian citizenship.
Sixteen years have passed, and they have not only been denied the citizenship promised to them, but are facing even more discriminatory treatment in the hands of government officials.
Meanwhile, illegal immigrants from Indonesia and the Philippines are allowed to enter the country, to the extent that in Sabah, one out way of every two person is an illegal immigrant!
As a result, the 300,000 stateless red-identity holders find themselves in a position ever worse than the illegal immigrants from Indonesia and Philippines.
This is a gross injustice. Until the Barisan Nasional government fulfils its promise to give citizenship to the 300,000 stateless red-identity card holders, the government must give the 300,000 red-identity card holders a special status, completely different from the illegal immigrants from Indonesia and Philippines.
The government should in fact set up a special department in the Prime Minister’s Department to help solve all the socio-economic and educational problems faced by these 300,000 red identity card holders and their children.