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Tuesday September 25, 2007

Teen goes to court for right to own MyKad


KUALA LUMPUR: When Malaysians were celebrating the country’s 50th year, teenager Sarah Nor Varah Hanim Abd Mutalib was among the hundreds of youngsters dancing and singing in the grand parade. 

However, while proud to be a “Malaysian,” the SMK Raja Lumu student in Port Klang, does not have any legal proof that she is a citizen. 

Sarah: Says her father has a valid entry permit and a permanent resident status here
Yesterday, on her 14th birthday, she applied to a court to hear her case to own a MyKad that would identify her as a Malaysian. 

Sarah’s father, businessman Abd Mutalib Taib, 49, is an Indonesian who purportedly came to Malaysia in 1978. He married fellow Indonesian Romita Hasibuan, and the couple have four children. 

He was deported back to Indonesia on April 29, 2005. 

The family filed a suit on Sept 23, 2005 against then Immigration director-general (Datuk Mohd Jamal Kamdi) and 13 others for nearly RM29mil over Mutalib’s alleged wrongful arrest, detention and subsequent deportation.  

Romita, 38, succeeded in getting an order from the court two years ago allowing her to stay with her children via an extended social visa, without payment, pending the disposal of the main suit. 

Sarah claimed her father had a valid entry permit and a permanent resident status here and that she has the right to have a MyKad. 

She filed an application at the High Court registry to amend her family’s main suit to include her case. 

She is also seeking an order to get the identity card immediately and a declaration that she was a victim of discrimination, apart from related damages. 

High Court judge Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat set Dec 3 for further case management of the main suit after he met the girl’s lawyer, Charles Hector, and federal counsel Wan Roslan Wan Ismail, in chambers.  

The court has not fixed the date to hear Sarah’s application yet.  

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