100-year-old great grandma is still hoping to get Malaysian citizenship

Tan (left) accepting her new MyPR card from Mohd Yazid (centre) as Perak NRD director Zulazlan Abu Hassan looks on at Tan’s home in Taman Pertama, Taiping.
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

At the ripe old age of 100, great-grandmother Tan Kim Cheng's only wish is to die a Malaysian citizen.

Having applied for citizenship several times without success because of incomplete documentation, her latest application, which was submitted on Monday, is currently being processed by the National Registration Department (NRD).

According to Tan's grandson Bay Yuan Jie, Tan often spoke of her regret about not being a true Malaysian.

"It is always on her mind even though she is not as alert as she used to be.

"She has lived here for most of her life and this is where she considers to be her real home," he said.

Born on March 10, 1917, in Guangzhou, China, Tan and her late husband, Bay Eng Seng, travelled to British Malaya in 1940, after which they started farming in Kuala Kurau, some 50km from Taiping.

Whereas Eng Seng, who died in 1992 at the age of 78, and their 11 children are all Malaysian citizens, Tan only managed to obtain permanent resident status.

Despite not having any good news for Tan yet, NRD director general Datuk Mohd Yazid Ramli took the liberty to pay the centenarian a visit at her home in Taman Pertama, Taiping.

Mohd Yazid, who travelled all the way from Putrajaya, also presented Tan with a new MyPR card as the one she has is already invalid.

"We are already looking into her application for citizenship and will process it as soon as possible.

'This is actually the first time we have received her application although her family claims otherwise.

"Perhaps, her previous applications never reached us at the headquarters as they were handed in at the branch level without the necessary documents as required," he said.

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