KUALA LUMPUR: It is a happy moment for a 14-year-old girl N.Yanesha who had to undergo a DNA test to prove her biological father was a Malaysian when she finally gets her Malaysian citizenship.
Yanesha's lawyer Annou Xavier informed High Court judge Rosilah Yop on Wednesday.
"I have collected my identity card (IC) at the National Registration department in Putrajaya a week ago," said Yanesha, who is of Malaysian-Filipino parentage.
Her aunt, S.Yogeswari said that Home Ministry has sent a letter a week ago to Yanesha's father S. Nanthakumar informing that her application for IC has been approved and that the girl could collect her IC at any NRD office.
"On the first day, she got a certificate of Malaysian citizenship and then she obtained her IC the next day," she said.
Yogeswari said that the DNA test which Nanthakumar has paid for RM1,500 to get a Malaysian citizenship for his daughter was worthwhile.
Her lead counsel Annou Xavier informed High Court judge Justice Rosilah Yop when the case was up in chambers.
Speaking to reporters later, Xavier said that Justice Rosilah had directed Federal Counsel Haryati Ahmad to get instructions to get the girl a new birth certificate, which stated her status as "warganegara" (citizen).
"She now has a MyKad which she had waited for eight years," he said.
Lawyer Nizam Bashir, who held a watching brief for an NGO - Voice of Children, said Malaysia should revisit on the Child Rights Convention 1951 on its reservation made to Article 7 that each child given right to nationality as it affects the rights for their education in national schools.
Her parents are separated and the girl, born at Bandar Sunway in Petaling Jaya on May 3, 1999, stays with an aunt and carries a birth certificate that states her status is “Bukan Warganegara (not a citizen)”.
Yanesha, whose father is Malaysian national S. Nanthakumar, and mother
Judith Guballo, a Filipina, filed the civil claim through Yogeswari.
The girl named the NRD director-general, the Home Ministry secretary-general and the Government as defendants.
Among others, Yanesha sought for a declaration that she is a citizen under the Federal Constitution.
She applied to the court to direct the defendants to issue her a birth certificate, a MyKad and an order that NRD register and update her name into the register.