Citizenship of teen in limbo

Citizenship of teen in limbo

KUALA LUMPUR - In a strange twist, the National Registration Department (NRD) is applying to strike out the citizenship of a teenager who was just issued a blue identity card (MyKad) last month.

N. Yanesha, 14, (pic) who is of Malaysian-Filipino parentage, had received a letter dated July 15 informing her that her application for citizenship has been approved, and promptly collected her identity card at the NRD headquarters in Putrajaya after an eight-year wait to be recognised as a Malaysian citizen.

Yanesha was born at Bandar Sunway in Petaling Jaya on May 3, 1999, and carries a birth certificate that states her status as non-citizen.

Her biological father S. Nanthakumar is a Malaysian who fathered her through Judith Guballo, a Filipino.

In January, Yanesha sued the NRD director-general, the Home Ministry secretary-general and the Government at the High Court here to be recognised as a citizen.

Yanesha's earlier joy of getting her MyKad looks short-lived as the defendants are now applying to strike out that very same citizenship application that was approved earlier, said her lawyer Annou Xavier.

According to Xavier, the defendants were intending to strike out her citizenship application through the papers they filed in January, when Yanesha first took up her case against the Government.

"They are claiming that the application is premature and should be dealt with by way of judicial review, and that we have delayed in doing so on our part," he said.

While having a MyKad, Yanesha is still holding a birth certificate that stated her as "non-citizen" (bukan warganegara).

Other than asking for a MyKad, Yanesha is also asking the court to direct the defendants to issue her with a new birth certificate stating she is a citizen, as well as include her name into the register.

"She was very happy as she finally got her identity card. Now, my client is shocked," said Xavier, who added that Senior Federal Counsel Maisarah Juhari had informed the court about this application when the parties met the judge in chambers yesterday.

High Court judge Justice Rosilah Yop set Sept 17 to hear the Government's application.

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