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HomeSocial News9YO Sarawakian girl being denied education due to her citizenship status

9YO Sarawakian girl being denied education due to her citizenship status

“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela once said.

Unfortunately, many children were being denied from pursuing their education due to their citizenship status, including this 9-year-old Sarawakian girl.

According to The Borneo Post, Jeanny Ating completed Primary 1 in 2020 and had been attending Primary 2 for only 2 months last year before her mother, Ruran Lukas received a heart-breaking text message stating that Jeanny would no longer be allowed to attend school.

Source: The Borneo Post

Despite being born and raised in Sarawak, Ruran’s official nationality is Indonesian. Ruran, 40, and her husband Ating Agong, 55, have 6 children.

The couple only managed to register their marriage in 2016 due to the complications faced with Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara (JPN).

“It was because of Ruran’s citizenship status. Although she was born and bred here but her status in her birth certificate listed her as a non-citizen because both her parents are Indonesians. So, we had problems in registering our marriage”, Ating explained.

Due to the delay in registering their marriage, their first 5 children who were born between 1998 and 2013 were denied access to school, including Jeanny.

This means that the first 5 children of theirs are not considered Malaysians and their youngest who was born in 2019 is still waiting for her citizenship from JPN.

“Even though her application for her citizenship status is still pending at the JPN, shouldn’t she be allowed to attend school?” Ating questioned.

“The JPN told us that the process (to change Jeanny’s citizenship) could take up to six years. Just imagine, by the time she gets her citizenship, she can no longer attend school.”

“It would be too late for her,” he pointed out.

Jeanny’s case isn’t the first and only case we’ve heard over the years. Education is a fundamental right and we hope that the education system will embark on a new path that focuses more on the children rather than their status or citizenship.

What do you think about this? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!


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