I WOULD like to express my gratitude to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam for all the privileges accorded to us.
Being born in Brunei is one of the proudest things in my life as I have such a caring monarch. But the most painful thing is to be born without citizenship.
Many of us, like myself, are born and raised here in Brunei Darussalam (Abode of Peace) but we are ‘citizen-less’. We do not belong to any other country and we do not own a passport. Our passport is just a piece of paper which is known as Certificate of Identity.
Wherever we go (except Singapore & Sarawak/Sabah) we need to apply for a visa. Most countries don’t recognise our passport and therefore we would normally get held up or delayed by the Customs officials and they would ask many questions.
As a citizen-less person in Brunei, I need to pay fees to study in government schools, which include high school, college, technical school and university. Paying for visa and school fees doesn’t burden my family much but for some families out there, it may be one of the main financial stresses.
Due to our citizen-less status, our efforts in life are overshadowed. No matter how excellent our results are, we can’t apply for a scholarship, even the new Government Loan Scheme, as well as in one of the top schools in Brunei, Maktab Sains.
Citizen-less are not considered for jobs in government departments, and not given priority at bigger companies such as Brunei Shell Petroleum and/or PetroleumBRUNEI.
Many of us sit for the citizenship exam which is not easy. I sat for the exam in 2010 and received my result in 2012. Receiving the LULUS (Pass) was one of my happiest things in my life as I, at last, could call this country my own.
I also planned for my future and apply for scholarship to further my studies and pay back my country upon completing my studies. But until now (Dec 2014), I have not received my citizenship. I waited with hope to get my citizenship and get the scholarship, but now I have already crossed the age limit to apply for a scholarship as well as some of the jobs in the government department.
I want to know the reason behind the long delay. I truly hope the relevant ministry could address my query.
– Confused Citizen