IPOH: It has now been 10 years since Nalvin Dhillon Narangan Singh first began his quest to get recognised as a Malaysian.
The 22-year-old college student, who will graduate in November, hopes to get his MyKad and put his life back on track.
“I feel like I am stuck. There are so many things that I cannot get because I don’t have a MyKad.
“I will have difficulty getting a job as a MyKad is needed to register for my Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Social Security Organisation (Socso) accounts,” he said here.
“And if I were to continue my studies, I will have financial issues because I am not able to get loans or scholarships.
“It has not been easy to pay for my college fees.
“I worked part-time, saved my meagre wages, borrowed from my relatives and got some funding from my father.”
On March 11, 2014, The Star highlighted Nalvin Dhillon’s plight after the National Registration Department (NRD) refused to issue him a MyKad when he reached the age of 12.
He was born to a Malaysian father and a Filipina mother at the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang in 1997, and had obtained a passport and birth certificate prior to his predicament.
Nalvin Dhillon could not get the MyKad as his parents’ marriage was not registered under Malaysian law.
It also did not help that his mother left them when he was just three.
Nalvin Dhillon said he received a letter from the NRD asking him to resubmit another application for his citizenship after the article came out five years ago.
“I’ve followed what was asked of me but I still get the same response that they need my parents’ marriage certificate.
“I was also told to go to the Philippines embassy to apply for a passport and a permit to stay in Malaysia, to wait five years to get a red MyKad and another 12 years to get my citizenship.
“If I apply for the permit, it means that I am admitting that I am a Filipino and my wish to get my citizenship would end there,” he said.
Nalvin Dhillon said he was also told by the Immigration Department some years ago to continue and not stop applying for his citizenship.
This, he said, was to show his “desire” to be a Malaysian.
“I have already applied three times. Frankly, time is not on my side as I’m already 22 years old.
“Without a MyKad, I can’t get employed and what’s the point of getting my citizenship when I am in my 40s? No one will want to employ me then,” he added.
Nalvin Dhillon said he hoped that Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin would help him.
“They can call me up to Putrajaya and interview me if they have doubts about me.
“I just want my MyKad so I can move on, get employed and contribute to society,” he said, adding that he tried approaching various political parties for help but to no avail.
“I also hope a lawyer would take up my case and help me fight for my citizenship.”
Nalvin Dhillon said he hoped the government could amend the law by making it easier for eligible stateless children to get their citizenship.
“I feel that it should be sufficient to have either parent who is a Malaysian or if someone is born in Malaysia to get a citizenship.
“There are many others like me, suffering and no longer know what more can be done.
“It’s not my fault to be in this situation. At times, I feel that I am nothing but a mistake,” he said.