MIRI: The 51-year wait for citizenship for Chew Yun Fui of Miri is finally over, thanks to the personal intervention of Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP).
Chew, 63, received the approval letter signed by Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is Home Minister, when he went to the Miri National Registration Department office on Tuesday morning (April 17).
SUPP vice-president Datuk Lee Kim Shin handed over the Home Ministry letter to Chew that will enable him to apply for his MyKad.
Chew, who operates a food stall, offered his heartfelt thanks to Dr Ahmad Zahid, Lee and the SUPP team.
Chew was born in Brunei, where his parents had been working, before the family moved back to their hometown in Miri, Sarawak.
"At that time Sarawak was still under colonial rule and Malaysia was not formed yet," he recalled.
"For years, my parents tried repeatedly to apply for my citizenship (starting) when I was 12, but their efforts were unsuccessful.
"I also personally tried for decades to apply on my own, but the NRD rejected my application repeatedly.
"At the end of 2016, I went to seek the help of Datuk Lee and today I get this good news that Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid had approved my citizenship application," he told a press conference.
Lee said he personally brought up the plight of Chew and 32 other stateless folks in Miri to Dr Ahmad Zahid.
The other outstanding cases are being sorted out, he added.