KUALA LUMPUR: Forty years ago R. Kolandavaloo (pic) stole a chicken and was jailed for the offence.
Worse, he was deemed to be “not of good character” and his application to be a Malaysian citizen was refused.
The former plumber, 71, went to court and named the Home Minis-ter, National Registration Depart-ment (NRD) and the Government as respondents in his suit.
Yesterday, High Court (Appellate and Special Powers) judge Zaleha Yusof held the respondents had acted unreasonably and irrationally in refusing the former plumber’s citizenship.
She added they made the ruling like it was a final order without any avenue for Kolandavaloo.
The court ruled he can get his citizenship.
Earlier, Justice Zaleha told Federal Counsel Maisarah Juhari: “Do not be too technical. You are dealing with a human being. That (offence) was committed over 40 years ago.
“You have written to the police who said he had not committed anything else (aside the chicken theft).
“Is that not enough for a good character?” she asked, adding that Kolandavaloo did not hide the fact he was under restricted residence.
However, Justice Zaleha did not make any order as to costs.
Kolandavaloo, from Klang, filed a judicial review on his case on Feb 28 last year.
His lawyer M. Manoharan believed it was the first case of a senior citizen being refused a citizenship for allegedly being of bad character.
Manoharan argued his client was not a habitual offender and could be granted with the citizenship as he had fulfilled conditions under Article 16 of the Federal Constitution, including the requirement of having elementary knowledge of Malay.
The court papers revealed Kolandavaloo had previous convictions in 1965 and 1966, respectively for theft and a minor offence and was jailed six months and fined RM50 by the Klang magistrate’s court.
NRD director-general Datuk Jariah Mohd Said told the court Kolandavaloo was under restricted residence from 1966 to 1973 in Serendah, Ulu Selangor, and was under police supervision.