KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 — The High Court here today dismissed a stateless boy’s application for a judicial review against the government’s decision to deny him Malaysian citizenship.
Judge Datuk Asmabi Mohamad said the boy’s mother was a Thai citizen and he should therefore adopt her nationality, when dismissing the application with costs.
“In the affidavit, there is no sufficient evidence to declare the child as stateless,” Asmabi said.
The application was filed by the father, Lim Jien Hsian, on behalf of his five-year-old son, Zu Yi.
Zu Yi is seeking to be recognised as a Malaysian citizen and be issued with a MyKid to allow him to live in the country and attend school.
After the hearing, Lim’s lawyers, N.Surendran and Latheefa Koya, expressed their frustration with the decision and concern for the boy’s future.
“Much to our great disappointment the court has dismissed the application though we argued that the mother cannot be found and that the child was born ad lived here all his life.
“Under Section 1(e) of the Federal Constitution, any child born in Malaysia, who is not the citizen of another country, automatically becomes a Malaysian citizen,” Surendran added.
He said that he will file an immediate appeal on Zu Yi’s case.
Surendran also criticised Putrajaya and the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) for contesting Zu Yi’s application, which he said was a bona fide and genuine application.
Latheefa said that the deputy public prosecutor in her argument also did not provide documents that explicitly states Zu Yi as being a Thai national.
“Unfair to assume that Zu Yi is a Thai national when his status is uncertain. Only his birth certificate is clear that he was born in Malaysia to a Malaysian father and a Thai mother… doesn’t make sense to say he is a Thai national,” she said.
But today’s decision will complicate Zu Yi’s case, as the declaration that he is not stateless means he can no longer rely on Section 1(e) in future applications.
On February 9, Jien Hsianapplied for a judicial review of Putrajaya’s decision to deny Malaysian citizenship to his half-Thai son, purportedly for national security and immigration reasons.
Zu Yi was born at Tung Shin Hospital in Kuala Lumpur in 2010 and received a Malaysian birth certificate.
His mother is a Thai national who left the family when Zu Yi was six-months-old and has not been traceable since. She and Jien Hsian are not married.
When met outside the court today, Jien Hsian expressed his worry for Zu Yi.
“I just want answers… what do you want me to do with the child now? Deport him? We don’t know where his mother is!” a visibly angry Jian Hsian lamented.
By BY YISWAREE PALANSAMY | The Malay Mail Online