PETALING JAYA: After 13 years, Nalvin Dhillon has finally received recognition as a Malaysian citizen from the High Court today.
Nalvin, 24, who was born to a Malaysian father and a Filipino mother, said he was ecstatic with the High Court’s decision after a long and arduous battle to gain citizenship.
“I am super happy, because it took me such a long time to get here,” he told FMT.
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“I was born and raised in Klang, and this means the world to me. I am officially a citizen. Today is my Merdeka.”
Nalvin said that being able to obtain his MyKad meant he is now able to access opportunities that he could not before.
“Living as a stateless person for so many years, I’ve had limits to what I could and couldn’t do. Just to further my studies, I had to fork out a large amount of cash and I was not able to apply for loans,” he said.
“But now I can gain full access to things like education, health and financial privileges. This is a good start for me.”
Nalvin, who turns 25 in June, had been trying to get himself recognised as a Malaysian since December 2009.
His father had made several attempts to have him recognised as a Malaysian and obtain a birth certificate over some seven years.
However, the home minister through three letters – dated Dec 8, 2010, Jan 20, 2014, and April 4, 2016 – rejected the applications without giving any reason.
By the time he received the ministry’s response on his third citizenship application, Nalvin was already 19. In 2019, he filed a lawsuit seeking an order from the court for a declaration that he is a Malaysian.
Today’s decision was delivered by High Court judge Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh, who said Nalvin had fulfilled the condition under Section 1(e), Part II of the Second Schedule of the Federal Constitution.
Section 1(e) deals with persons born within Malaysia and not born a citizen of any country.
The judge ordered that Nalvin be issued his MyKad within 21 days from the date of the order.
Asked about his hopes for others who are in the same position as he once was, Nalvin said they should “get out there and fight for their right”.
“Stop making excuses and don’t give up. Nothing is impossible,” he said.