Stateless in Sarawak: Most Long Singut residents without proper papers

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KUCHING: In spite of their good results in school, some of the children of Long Singut, Kapit residents cannot go far as they do not have proper identity documentation despite being born and bred there.

After Form Five, they have difficulties securing jobs outside of the village due to their predicament.

Such is the plight faced by 729 residents of Long Singut, on the upper reaches of Kapit despite being the second and third generations here after their forefathers migrated to Sarawak from Kalimantan in the early 1960s, yet most of them have no proper Malaysian identity documents, rendering them stateless.

Their predicament has caught the attention of Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Masing who visited them recently in the upper reaches of Sungai Balleh, Kapit.


Masing (third left) meeting with some of the residents in Long Singut, Kapit to listen to their predicament so he can lend assistance in helping them secure proper identity documentation.

He is helping them apply for birth certificates and identity cards with the Malaysian authorities 

“Without these documents, the residents are considered stateless.

“They are the second and third generations whose forefathers migrated to Sarawak from Kalimantan in the early 1960s,” he told TVS when contacted.

He added that it would be a waste if their children did well in school yet could only study until Form 5 and could not secure jobs in towns as they do not possess identity documents.

Masing, who is also Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president said that the issue should be addressed immediately by the Federal Government.

“Unless we settle these problems soonest, we could be accused of not caring for our fellow human beings and we will lose valuable human resources.

“The State National Department should mobilise their team  to Long Singut as soon as possible to look into the issue,” he added.

Describing the Long Singut residents as smart and hardworking, Masing said losing their skills would be a shane should there be ‘political bias’”.

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