PETALING JAYA: The Immigration Department has said the enrolment of children in government schools comes under the jurisdiction of the education ministry.
“All matters involving the enrolment of students in government schools come under the education ministry’s jurisdiction and not under the Immigration,” Bernama quoted Immigration director-general Mustafar Ali as saying.
Mustafar also said the Immigration Department’s letter to the education ministry was to clarify some issues pertaining to documents required for three categories of children to enrol in government or government-assisted schools.
There were reports recently that many stateless children in Penang and elsewhere had been barred from enrolling at schools, following the “circular” issued by the Immigration Department that they needed to have passports.
Some parents were shown the “circular”, requiring children to have passports, by Education Department staff when they went to inquire about enrolling their children in school.
Mustafar said on Nov 28 last year, the Daily School Management Division submitted a letter to the department asking for clarification on whether foreign children born in and outside Malaysia would require a passport or valid travel documents to enrol in government schools.
The Immigration Department responded to the letter explaining that foreigners who were born here or abroad required valid passports from their respective countries to allow for a pass to be issued to reside in Malaysia.
In the letter, he said, the department also clarified that only Malaysian-born children were not required to have a passport to reside in Malaysia.
Mustafar said the letter further explained that children without citizenship but who had applied for it were required to have passports according to their respective countries until they were given Malaysian citizenship.