KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 10, 2012): A 69-year-old woman and her two daughters filed a judicial review application at the High Court registry here today seeking a declaration that they are Malaysian citizens.

The trio – S. Letchumy and her daughters K. Sarojini and K. Mala – are also seeking a court order, or mandamus, to compel the director-general of the National Registration Department (NRD) to acknowledge them as Malaysian citizens and issue them MyKads. They are also seeking an order to quash the director-general’s letter dated Sept 29.

In the letter, the director-general stated that the three were ineligible to apply for citizenship under the provisions of the Federal Constitution and had no legal right to claim for citizenship.

In their application, Letchumy, Sarojini, 32, and Mala, 34, are also seeking a declaration that the three respondents – the NRD director-general, the home ministry and the Malaysian government – had breached their human rights.

Additionally, the three are also seeking an unspecified sum as compensation for the denial of their rights under the Federal Constitution and other laws.

Speaking to reporters after the filing, the trio’s lawyer, N. Surendran, said they are automatically Malaysian citizens as per Article 14 of the Federal Constitution. Article 14 read with Section 1 (c) of the Second Schedule of the Federal Constitution states that anyone born within the Federation of Malaysia after September 1962, with a parent who was a citizen or permanent resident at the time, is eligible for citizenship.

“There is no excuse for the government to have refused to issue an IC to them,” said Surendran, adding that Sarojini and Mala never attended school as they did not have identity cards while Letchumy found it difficult to find jobs for the same reason.

At the same press conference, lawyer Latheefa Koya said today’s filing would be a test case as many more would be brought before the courts in the future.

10 December 2012, Tan Yi Liang, The Sun Daily