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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Stateless children: A boy's dream comes true

CHANGLUN - Stateless boy Tan Yao Chun’s hope of wearing a crisp white and dark blue school uniform will become a reality when he begins his first day at school next Sunday.

His prayer was answered when Kedah agreed to allow all stateless children aged 7 and above to enrol in school. Tan, who will be 8 this Aug 29, will join Year 2 pupils at SJKC Yit Min here.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah’s political secretary, Datuk Shaiful Hazizy Zainol Abidin, conveyed the good news to Tan and his grandmother, Rose Mary Chin, 77, at their house in Taman Sayang here yesterday.

The state government has even agreed to provide school supplies and pay the enrolment fee for the boy, Shaiful said.

“We understand the dilemma faced by Tan, as highlighted by the New Straits Times, and we are here to fulfil his wish to go to school.”

Tan’s plight was highlighted when Chin told the NST about the problems she faced in trying to obtain a birth certificate for Tan, who was born in southern Thailand on Aug 29, 2009.

His father had failed to register his birth at the Malaysian Consulate office in Thailand immediately after his birth. Shaiful advised Chin to continue applying for the boy’s birth certificate with the National Registration Department.

“The state government can help by allowing the boy to enter school, but his family will need to settle the matter regarding his birth certificate and citizenship to avoid other issues in future, including sitting national examinations.”

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