Stateless persons are distinctly excluded from the meaningful exercise of rights and protection
in multiple dimensions. The statelessness issue in the State of Sabah has become an
intergenerational issue depriving a range of fundamental rights of an intensive population
requiring immediate intervention. Certain communities in Sabah have been rendered stateless
for generations due to historical reasons, among others. We also recognise that the denial of
nationality and identification documents for these stateless persons are often associated with
national security policies and are made more complicated by bureaucracy and corruption.
In order to address this issue, we, from the national human rights institutions (NHRIs) of
Malaysia (SUHAKAM), Indonesia (Komnas HAM) and the Philippines (CHRP), entered into
a tripartite partnership through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Statelessness
Issues in Sabah that was bilaterally signed between SUHAKAM and Komnas HAM, with
CHRP participating as an observer on 23 April 2019. On 24 July 2020, CHRP joined the MoU
as an official Party.