Fuzi sent me a text message last week, asking if it was okay for her to buy reference books for her eldest daughter, Wina, who will be sitting for her SPM next year. Amongst all the children of the PLHIV families under my care, Wina is the one who takes her schooling very seriously. She’s the one who asks for tuition, and she’s the one who wants those reference books.
I told Fuzi to wait for me to visit them so I could get more details on the subjects Wina is taking. I can probably get used reference books from my friends whose children have sat for their SPM and who no longer have anyone to hand down the books to.
So today, after getting supplies of groceries at a hypermarket, I immediately headed to Fuzi’s house. The moment I got to her house & honked, it was her youngest son Iwan who opened the door, smiling as sweetly as ever. He then came out together with his mother to help unload the groceries from my car.
Fuzi’s eldest daughter, Wina, 16, and eldest son, Hafiz, 13 were also home. The other 2 children including Ijam, the HIV+ boy, were in school. I brought along with me a bag of scarves given by SN. SN was no longer using those type of scarves and so she gave them to me so I could distribute them to the poor HIV families. Fuzi and Wina were happy to choose a few from the plastic bag.
Anyway, I told Wina I’d try to get the SPM reference books for her. I noted down the subjects she’s taking. Although Wina is under our sponsorship programme, no point buying reference books if we can get some for free. Might as well utilise the sponsorship money to cover for her tuition fees.
Fuzi’s problem now is that she’s still unable to apply for PR status for herself. Earlier on she was told that foreigners married to Malaysians can apply for PR status after 5 years. Fuzi had been staying in Malaysia since she got married 17 years ago. But when she went recently, she was told the rule doesn’t apply to widows. She couldn’t apply for PR back then when her husband was still alive because he never bothered to register their marriage here (they were married in Narathiwat).
After her husband’s death, Fuzi had all sorts of problems trying to get Malaysian identity cards for her children, but that matter finally got settled when someone helped to get her marriage cert finally accepted by the court here. So now the problem of her first 4 children are settled. They have no problem getting their MyKad done.
However, her youngest boy, Iwan, was born out of a rape case, after the death of Fuzi’s husband. With Fuzi’s status still as a non citizen, and father’s details unknown, Iwan was classified as non-citizen. Fuzi was hoping that if she could get herself the PR status, then maybe she could apply to get Iwan as a Malaysian citizen. She was hopeful earlier, but with the latest development, she’s back to square one.
Iwan is 5 years old. Next year he will be going to a nearby kindergarten. The problem will arise when he needs to start schooling in 2013. If he still remains as a non-citizen, he may have problems getting into a government school. I was told he will need to apply to the state education dept and pay some additional fees as a foreign student.
There’s still another year to go. I hope something can be done before 2013 comes…