KUALA LUMPUR: The government has obtained an ad-interim stay of a court order handed down in May requiring it to issue a birth certificate to a five-year-old boy reflecting his status as a Malaysian citizen, lawyer Marcus Lee said.
As a result, the national registration department (JPN) will not be required to issue a birth certificate to the boy identifying him as a citizen until a formal stay application filed by the government is heard by the High Court on July 27.
“The High Court granted the temporary stay after a hearing last week. We did not object provided an early hearing date is given for the hearing of the stay application,” Lee, who represents the boy’s family, told FMT.
He said the parents were hoping their son’s citizenship status can be resolved soon, failing which he may not be able to enrol in a government primary school.
The High Court will, at the hearing of the application, decide whether there are “special circumstances” to justify a stay of its order pending the disposal of the government’s appeal to the Court of Appeal.
On May 18, Justice Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh allowed a judicial review application filed by the boy’s father and ordered JPN’s director-general to issue the birth certificate within 30 days to reflect the child’s status as a citizen.
In his ruling, Wan Farid said he took cognisance of a DNA report, which was not disputed by JPN, confirming that the boy was the biological son of the applicant, a Malaysian citizen.
The judge said the boy had fulfilled all requirements of Article 14 of the Federal Constitution, read with paragraph 1(a) of Part II to its First Schedule, making him a citizen “by operation of law”.
Before filing the suit, the father had, in November 2021, applied to JPN for his son’s birth certificate to reflect his citizenship, but received no reply.
Despite a letter of demand sent in March last year, JPN rejected his application.
The father then filed for judicial review in June last year, seeking a declaration that the boy is a citizen by operation of law.
In his affidavit in support of the application, the father, a 27-year-old hawker, said his son was born in July 2018 at a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur, a month before his marriage to the boy’s Vietnamese mother was registered.