Monday, April 18, 2016

Stateless Fil-Malaysian teen finally gets citizenship after 17 years

It took Filipino-Malaysian teen Navin Moorthy 17 years to get his citizenship recognized by the Malaysian government.
On April 5, Moorthy finally received his Citizenship Certificate from Malaysia's National Registration Department (NRD), more than a year after he won a legal battle for the right to his citizenship, a report on Malay Mail Online said.
The report said Moorthy, who is about to turn 18 in three months, is the son of a Malaysian father and a Filipino mother.
With this development, Moorthy is set to receive his identity card, an important requirement in applying for bank loans, driving licences and passports. It is a compulsory identity card for Malaysian citizens above the age of 12.
separate report on The Star said according to Moorthy's lawyer Annou Xavier, as a full-fledged citizen, Moorthy can now "go to university as a Malaysian, he can apply for a driving license or buy flight tickets to go traveling and more."
The teenager, through his father, filed a civil suit against the NRD director-general, Home Ministry secretary-general, and the Federal Government in December 2013 over his citizenship.
Moorthy said he was born as a Malaysian citizen in Klinik Sarmukh in Jalan Genting Klang on July 8, 199,8 but was later declared a non-citizen.
His father appealed of behalf of him in 2010 and 2011, but was rejected by the NRD. Moorthy's attempt in 2012 was also unsuccessful.
The Home Ministry rejected Moorthy's appeal because his parents' marriage "was not registered under local laws," according to a report on The New Straits Times Online in 2015.
As a non-citizen, Moorthy's father had to pay a levy for his enrollment in a national school while the teen himself faced discrimination from his schoolmates and school administrators.
Moorthy told The Malay Mail that without his card, he felt like he was "pretty much no one in this world" and said that the five-year fight for his citizenship was a traumatic experience.
His mother, Marissa Novero, meanwhile, could not be traced. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News
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