Nothing wrong with citizenship programme in Johor, says Ramasamy

Nothing wrong with citizenship programme in Johor, says Ramasamy

PETALING JAYA: Urimai chairman P Ramasamy has defended a citizenship application programme scheduled to take place in Johor Bahru, which was later postponed due to a “misunderstanding”.

Ramasamy, a former Penang deputy chief minister, also slammed the “politicising” of the programme by certain quarters.

“Even if these statelessness initiatives are undertaken by political parties, there is nothing political in them. They are just humane voluntary efforts to speed up the process of procuring much needed identity documents.

“If only the national registration department (JPN) had taken a more humane approach to resolve the issue of statelessness, there would be no need for the setting up of voluntary bodies to assist (these) people,” he said in a statement.

Last Saturday, DAP’s Stulang assemblyman Chen Kah Eng said the June 30 event had been postponed following a misunderstanding on social media about a promotional poster.

Defending the initiative, Chen said it was about the problems of people lacking citizenship documents or birth certificates due to reasons such as parental negligence.

JPN has denied involvement in the citizenship application programme, saying it is not jointly organised with the department and that there was no invitation to participate in the programme.

The department also said citizenship applications can only be made in person at JPN office counters by the applicants.

Ramasamy said that when he was deputy chief minister of Penang, he was given permission by the state government to set up a citizenship unit in 2013 to assist those in need of identity documents.

“The aim was to assist applicants on how to fill up application forms and how to submit them to JPN. But the actual applications to the department were by the applicants themselves,” he said, adding that the unit had only functioned as a guide or facilitator.

“When I left the party and the government in August 2023, the coordinator of the unit was Yeap Choon Keong who is currently in charge of the programme.

“After Yeap became the coordinator of the unit in Penang, I was the person who encouraged him to assist other voluntary statelessness initiatives in other states.”

X user @RMalanjum_ had previously posted about the number of people granted citizenship with the help of the Penang Citizenship Programme.

He asked whether DAP had taken over the function of JPN, referring to the Facebook page of programme director Yeap, who posts regularly about stateless children gaining citizenship.

  • https://www.msn.com/en-my/news/national/nothing-wrong-with-citizenship-programme-in-johor-says-ramasamy/ar-BB1nVjX7?ocid=00000000

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