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Jakarta Post

Unresolved distress of Indonesians in limbo

  • Andrean Sangabie Sancaya and Felicia Clarissa

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PREMIUM
Jakarta/Nunukan   /   Wed, May 29, 2019   /  11:36 am
Unresolved distress of Indonesians in limbo Migrant workers board the KM Thalia ship at Tunon Taka Port in Nunukan district, North Kalimantan, on Nov. 9., 2015. (Antara/Rusman)

“This is my first-time setting foot in Indonesia,” claimed Sarah (not her real name) with a confused, anxious face. Sarah, an Indonesian national, was born in Tawau, Sabah, Malaysia, of Indonesian parents and had lived there all her life. However, in 2018, together with her two children, she was deported to Indonesia through Nunukan, North Kalimantan, to her “home” country, which did not recognize her as its citizen. Sarah, de jure, is an Indonesian as a consequence of Indonesia holding to the jus sanguinis principle, or acquiring citizenship based on that of the parents. However, before the Indonesian consulate in Tawau assessed her upon a referral from the Malaysian Immigration Office, she had not been acknowledged either as a Malaysian or an Indonesian. She lived as a “stateless”, undocumented person. Thousands of people like Sarah live in Sabah,...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.