Kuala Lumpur, Jan 21 : Malaysia's Home Ministry will set up a special committee to handle the plight of 40,000 Indian children in the country who don't have a birth certificate.
Chief Minister of the Selangor in Malaysia, Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo, said that the decision to set up the committee was made after he highlighted the matter to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi during the Umno Supreme Council last week.
He said many Indian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) had approached him to raise the plight of the children.
"These children are unable to attend school, register for programmes or get jobs as adults," Dr Khir said.
"The Prime Minister was shocked when I informed him and immediately asked for a special committee to be formed under the Home Ministry," he said during an Indian cultural show organised by the Barisan Nasional Volunteers Association in Shah Alam on Saturday.
Dr Khir said the state government was working closely with several NGOs to get the parents to register their children.
He added that the birth certificate should be issued quickly if all the requirements were met.
He said the requirements included information on the hospital of birth and supporting facts from grandparents or close relatives.
"We have to be careful. We have to safeguard against foreigners who might use the chance to register for citizenship," the Star Online quoted Dr Khir, as saying.