Give top student Roisah citizenship, Anwar urges Zahid

Lawyer N Surendran (in white shirt) with Roisah Abdullah (with tudung) at the press conference. Together with them are other stateless children and their families.

PETALING JAYA: Jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has urged Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to help top student Roisah Abdullah obtain citizenship so that she could pursue her education.

The 20-year-old top scorer’s plight was highlighted by human rights lawyer N Surendran at a press conference on stateless people today.

Roisah was born at a clinic in Klang, Selangor, and was adopted.

Although she is a brilliant student at SMK Sg Kapar Indah, Klang, and a top scorer in the STPM examination, Roisah is unable to further her studies as she is not considered a Malaysian citizen.

The National Registration Department (JPN) turned down numerous attempts by her adoptive mother, who has since died, to obtain a blue MyKad for her.

“The actions of JPN and home ministry have rendered Roisah stateless and without a future. Despite her brilliant results, Roisah cannot apply to local universities because of her stateless status,” said Anwar in a statement.

FMT had highlighted Roisah’s case earlier today with Surendran saying the girl’s future was bleak unless she was given citizenship.

Anwar called on Zahid, who is also the deputy prime minister, to help Roisah so that she could enter a local university.

“Zahid must accept responsibility for this situation. He must make this case his priority, instead of spending his time campaigning for GE14.

“I also urge Zahid to look into the large number of other Malaysians who remain stateless despite being qualified under the Federal Constitution,” said Anwar.

At his press conference, Surendran, who is also Padang Serai MP, said it was believed there are over 300,000 stateless people in the country. However, this figure has been disputed by the government.

Surendran had also highlighted two other cases during his press conference.

The first was that of Karthiyani Ragunathan, who was born at home and has no documents. The second was father of two Lim Chun Jih, who is having trouble getting his children registered as he had not registered his marriage.

Give stateless kids a future, lawyers group tells government