After 3 strikes, teen wins bid to obtain citizenship

The girl’s father Lew Yee Hong (middle) with lawyers Annou Xavier (right) and Larrisa Ann Louis (left) at the Kuala Lumpur High Court earlier this year.

KUALA LUMPUR: A teenager whose parents registered their marriage two years after her birth won her bid at the High Court here today to challenge the government’s decision to deny her application for citizenship.

High Court judge Faizah Jamaludin allowed the 13-year-old’s judicial review application and ordered the National Registration Department to issue her a MyKad.

“Her parents registered their marriage on Jan 31, 2008, and from there, she is no longer seen as illegitimate,” she said.

The court made no order to costs.

Both the girl and her parents were present in court today. The girl’s father is a Malaysian while her mother is a Filipino.

The family, which currently resides in Sungai Siput, Perak, voiced joy at the court’s decision.

They said they had waited a long time to hear the girl pronounced a Malaysian.

The teenager applied for a MyKad three times but was rejected each time.

She filed a judicial review through her father, Lew Yee Hong, in October 2016 to challenge the government’s decision to reject her applications, seeking a court order to compel the government to issue her a MyKad.

At the last hearing, the government said decisions to reject a citizenship application cannot be reviewed in court.

It said the home minister had been given power under the Federal Constitution to allow or disallow citizenship applications.

However, the girl’s lawyer Annou Xavier argued that the courts could no longer be excluded from reviewing decisions made by the authorities as, in some recent cases, they had decided that ouster clauses did not serve as immunity from legal challenges.