Irresponsible & shocking for Home Ministry to claim that there are only 3,853 stateless Indians
27 August 2018
We refer to the statement by Deputy Home Minister Azis Jamman in the Dewan Negara today that there are only 3,853 stateless Indians in Malaysia.
We are shocked and astounded by this claim by the Deputy Home Minister.
He based his figure of 3,853 on the number of applications received by the Home Ministry.
It is completely illogical and contrary to reason, to base the total number of stateless on the number of applications the Ministry received.
There are thousands upon thousands of stateless Indians around the country whose applications have not reached the Home Ministry.
This is because large numbers of stateless persons have either had their applications rejected or have not even put in proper applications.
Many of those who had their applications rejected, had applied multiple times, and have given up trying.
For those thousands that have not put in applications, lack of education, ignorance and an inflexible bureaucracy at the JPN offices are among the main causes.
The Deputy Minister simply dismisses the figure of 300,000 stateless Indians which I had first suggested in 2012. That figure was a credible estimate based upon the feedback from NGOs, activists, and also population studies.
Instead of verifying the estimate by going to the ground, the Ministry is taking the easy way out by dismissing it out of hand.
No government census has ever been done to ascertain the actual total number of stateless Indians.
In the absence of such a census, it is highly irresponsible for the Deputy Minister to claim that there are only 3,853 stateless Indians.
The paltry figure of 3,853 also goes against the kind of numbers of stateless persons that NGOs, civil society and social & political activists have come across all over the country in grappling with the problem of statelessness over the years.
We call upon the Home Ministry to retract the completely baseless claim of only 3853 stateless Indians and take immediate steps to identify and issue blue IC to all qualified stateless persons.
Lawyers for Liberty