Abandoned as a baby, Hashimah no longer in limbo after getting IC

PUTRAJAYA: After four decades, Hashimah is finally a Malaysian and has an identification card to prove it.

The 40-year-old, who goes by only one name as there is no record of her parents on her birth certificate, was a bundle of nerves as she waited for lawyers to take her to get her identification card.

"I still can't believe this is happening. I have been wanting to get an IC all my life," she said nervously when met at the National Registration Department (NRD) here on Friday (Feb 3).

Hashimah had filed an application for citizenship by operation of law on Feb 25, 2020, but her request was turned down by the NRD in July that year.

Aggrieved by the decision, she filed a judicial review to challenge its refusal.

On Nov 17, the Kuala Lumpur High Court declared she was a Malaysian.

Getting an IC meant a lot for Hashimah, who only knew that she was born on Jan 9, 1983.

"I don't know who my parents are because it is not stated in my birth certificate. In fact, my religion is also stated as 'could not be determined', or unknown.

"The only thing I know about myself is my name and date of birth," she said, adding that she grew up in a number of orphanages.

It was reported earlier that Hashimah was abandoned as a baby in Kuala Lumpur and never adopted.

Recounting her growing-up years, Hashimah said she had been detained by police dozens of times as she could not prove her nationality.

"At first I was scared and traumatised. After a while, I got used to it," she added.

She could not apply for aid from bodies such as the zakat authority or the Welfare Department as she did not possess any citizenship documents.

Hashimah, who helps out at an orphanage, said she could not find any jobs "outside".

"Now that I have an IC, I hope to find better employment. I want to make a life for myself," she said.

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