Three from a Family Ask Court for Citizenship

KUALA LUMPUR, 10 Dec: A family today filed an application to the High Court to obtain Malaysian citizenship after their application was rejected by the National Registration Department of Malaysia (JPN).

The application which is believed to be the first in Malaysia was filed at the Jalan Duta High Court by three ethnically Indian individuals from the same family who come from Kapar, Selangor.

They asked for the High Court to issue a ‘Mandamus’ order instructing JPM to issue them a MyKad to recognise their citizenship.

They claim to have been denied the right to obtain their citizenship Identity Card even though all three were born and raised in Malaysia.

In their affidavit, Letchumy Suppiah, 57, and her two children, Mala Kothandu, 34, and Sarojini Kothandu, 32, named the Director General of JPN, Ministry of Home Affairs and the Government of Malaysia respectively as the first, second and third respondents.

Previously, they have requested to be given citizenship from JPN.

Letchumy claimed that she was born in Tanjung Sepat, Selangor on May 23, 1943 and had lived with her husband, Kothandu Perumal, who was born in Kuala Langat, Selangor in 1940.

Letchumy’s husband who died on the March 16, 1990, has an Identity Card that is numbered 400101-10-5841.

Sarojini was born on December 5, 1980 Kampung Tanjung Layang, Tanjung Sepat, while Mala was born in Banting Hospital on the June 6, 1978.

Meanwhile Letchumy’s father, Suppiah Veerasamy was given a paper Identity Card with the number SL 517334. Her father and mother were estate workers in Batu Untung, Tanjung Sepat, Selangor.

Last year, Letchumy acquired a Permanent Resident card after applying for Identity Card ‘late registration’ at Klang JPN.

Meanwhile, Sarojini and Mala only obtained birth certificates that states that their citizenship is ‘undetermined’ after applying for late registration of birth from JPN.

On July 30, Letchumy had applied for citizenship status from JPM for herself and Mala.

However, in his reply dated 29 September, the JPN Director-General had issued a letter stating that they are not entitled to apply for Malaysian citizenship under any of the provisions of the Federal Constitution.

According to the affidavit, the letter also prevents Sarojini from applying for citizenship.

They are represented by lawyers, N. Surendran, Latheefa Koya and Eric Paulsen.

“Without the recognition of the rights of citizenship, they have been denied the right to enjoy a range of facilities such as education, health services and career opportunities.

“They are also at risk of getting caught and it is difficult (for them) to obtain civil documents such as driving licences and marriage certificates.

“To make matters worse, their children are now facing the problem of citizenship,” Surendran said firmly.

Sarojini who married a Malaysian man has two sons aged 12 and 7 years old and both have birth certificates stating ‘information unavailable’ and ‘non-citizens’.

“We are sure after this, more and more citizens that have been deprived of their right to obtain Identification Cards will come forward an apply the same way as today,” Surendran added.

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