PUTRAJAYA: After 17 years, Navin Moorthy is now officially a citizen of the country where he was born.
The teenager of mixed parentage has finally been recognised as a Malaysian after years of legal tussle. He will receive his MyKad soon.
“I am happy that I finally got it. It did take a long time. It is a very big deal for me,” said Navin at the National Registration Department (NRD) here.
On Tuesday, Navin received a letter from the Home Ministry, which approved the 17-year-old as a Malaysian citizen under Article 15 of the Federal Constitution.
Navin, accompanied by his father R. Moorthy and lawyer Annou Xavier, was at the NRD to apply for his MyKad.
He was issued a standard temporary IC and will receive his MyKad once it is ready.
“Being a citizen means he can now do many things a boy his age can do, that a non-citizen can’t. He can go to university as a Malaysian, he can apply for a driving licence or buy flight tickets to go travelling and more.
“He is now a boy in the big family of Malaysia, no longer stateless,” said Xavier.
When asked what is the first thing he would do with his “new” citizenship, Navin said he was unsure.
“I cannot really tell what I am going to do first, as there are just so many things on my mind now. But I am definitely happy this is done,” he said.
Born to a Malaysian father and a Filipino mother, Navin was found to be listed as “bukan warganegara” or non-citizen in the NRD system when he was two years old.
Moorthy applied twice to the NRD in Putrajaya to have his son awarded Malaysian citizenship – on July 21, 2010 after the boy turned 12 and on Nov 17, 2011.
Both applications were rejected and on Dec 17, 2013, Navin through his father filed a civil suit against the NRD director-general, Home Ministry secretary-general and the Federal Government.
In the application, Navin said he was born in Klinik Sarmukh in Jalan Genting Klang on July 8, 1998, and was issued a Malaysian birth certificate.
The father also said that because of the non-citizenship, he was forced to pay a levy so that Navin could be enrolled in a national school.
The High Court on Nov 25, 2014 ordered that Navin be awarded a citizenship and given a MyKad.
The Government appealed the decision, but it was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on July 29 last year.