INDONESIA — The Ministry of Law and Human Rights (Kemenkumham) has revealed that thousands of Indonesian citizens (WNI) in Malaysia are at risk of losing their citizenship due to the widespread issue of illegal entry and exit in the neighboring countries.
The geographical proximity of Indonesia and Malaysia has been identified as one of the leading causes of this illegal activity.
This situation has led to numerous Indonesian citizens being detained by Malaysian authorities for violations of entry permits or work permits.
Baroto, the Director of State Administration at the General Directorate of General Legal Administration (Ditjen AHU) of Kemenkumham, emphasized the need for collective efforts to address the citizenship issue.
In a statement released on Friday (24 Nov), Baroto stated, “The citizenship issue in Malaysia is indeed a special concern that needs to be resolved. Joint efforts are required, especially for Indonesian citizens in Malaysia without proper documentation, to clarify their citizenship status so they can return to Indonesia or resume legal employment as Indonesian citizens in Malaysia.”
Baroto stressed the necessity of discussions with all relevant stakeholders to formulate regulations addressing the loss of Indonesian citizenship in Malaysia.
“This is to uphold the government of Indonesia’s principle of caution in resolving citizenship issues in Malaysia,” he said. “We will always strive for the establishment of such regulations.”
Meanwhile, Hermono, the Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia, acknowledged the challenges faced by many Indonesian citizens in Malaysia who entered the country without proper documentation.
“This is an extraordinary situation and is feared to not only decrease but escalate, given the ease of human movement between Indonesia and Malaysia,” he said in a statement issued by Kemenkumham.
According to Hermono, the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur is working to address this threat by providing citizenship documents to Indonesian citizens in Malaysia who either lack proper documentation or possess some citizenship documents but have never lost their citizenship.
The embassy has issued 33,742 Certificates of Citizenship Status (SKSK) and Birth Registration Certificates (SBPK).
However, Hermono acknowledged that the issuance of SKSK and SBPK still requires guidelines and technical regulations in accordance with Law No. 12 of 2006 concerning Citizenship.
“These activities and discussions are conducted to prevent the loss of Indonesian citizens abroad and serve as the basis for the country’s protection of its citizens, as mandated by Law No. 12 of 2006,” he added.
Therefore, he expressed hope that the Indonesian government would promptly establish technical regulations related to the citizenship of Indonesian citizens abroad, including those in Malaysia, as part of the effort to protect Indonesians residing overseas.
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