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Gerakan to send govt memorandum to help people get their rightful citizenship

KUALA LUMPUR: Gerakan will be sending a memorandum to the government to set up systems for people, especially senior citizens in the country to get their rightful citizenship according to party president Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong (pix).

He said that cases where people have been in the country for 50 years or over should be given automatic citizenship but no immediate solution is at hand as it will take time to put in place.

"There's been a case where a 107 year old person had just got their Identification Card although they had been in the country for some 70 years now," he said.

He added that there are many cases such as these while speaking to the media at a programme launched by the party's Indian Task Force to help those who have had problems with their IC's, birth certificates, red identity cards and more at Gerakan's headquarters in Cheras, here today.

Over a thousand people had gathered since morning with their documents in tow to seek help in rectifying their status in the country.

"We only had expected about 300 people to show up, but there have been over a thousand already and more are coming to seek help," he said.

"I know there are many cases where people are not sure of their status here, but if you're already in the country for over 70 or 80 years, the government should make it clear cut and give them their rightful citizenship, because they just want to belong," he added.

He said that it is very difficult for people with red IC's to get the rights of a citizen and he has also heard of people being rejected five or 6 times by the National Registration Department.

"That's why we are putting in our memorandum. Citizenship is one thing, but if you're not allowed access for many other things then that is the problem," he explained.

Mah, who is also a Minister in the cabinet, said that the government has also done a lot to streamline this problem, but from a party viewpoint, he hopes that the government will meet their memorandum with a positive response.

"We hope that the government expedites all this from a party viewpoint," he said.