Can Malaysia’s Cycle of Statelessness Be Broken?

Earlier this year, New Naratif published a piece about Wong Kueng Hui, one of the many stateless people in the Malaysian state of Sabah, and his decade-long legal battle to gain citizenship in Malaysia.  

In October 2019, the Kuala Lumpur High Court finally granted Wong citizenship. But this breakthrough only lasted for three weeks. The Malaysian government applied for a stay of execution on the order to grant Wong’s citizenship. Last month was the two-year anniversary of what could have marked the end of his ongoing struggle.  

On this week’s episode of Southeast Asia Dispatches, we look at what has happened since. We hear from Wong himself, along with his lawyer, Haijan Omar, and Dr. Vilashini Somiah, executive committee member of the Sabah Human Rights Centre. We discuss Wong’s efforts to break the generational cycle of statelessness affecting him and nearly a million other people who live in Sabah.

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