Short-lived joy for teen as Putrajaya contests citizenship victory

Annou Xavier (pic), the counsel for Navin Moorthy, confirmed that his firm was served a notice of appeal by the federal government today. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Annou Xavier (pic), the counsel for Navin Moorthy, confirmed that his firm was served a notice of appeal by the federal government today. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22 — A 16-year-old boy’s claim to Malaysian citizenship is headed to the Court of Appeal, after the federal government filed an appeal against a High Court order compelling it to recognise the youth as a citizen.

Annou Xavier, the counsel for Navin Moorthy, confirmed that his firm was served a notice of appeal by the federal government today.

“We received the notice by fax just today... we don’t know what to say. They should have just left it as it is, but now we will have to wait for them to go through the motions and set a date (for a hearing),” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted.

On November 25 this year, High Court Judge Datuk Huew Siew Kheng ordered Putrajaya to recognise Navin as a Malaysian citizen and issue him a MyKad by the end of this year.

She ruled that the federal authorities had acted unfairly in rejecting two earlier applications by Navin Moorthy to be granted his citizenship, describing it as “unjust and too harsh”.

Navin, through his father Moorthy Ramiah Pillai, filed a civil suit last December against the director-general of the National Registration Department (NRD), the Home Ministry that oversees the NRD, and the federal government over his citizenship status.

In his submissions, the teenager claimed that he was initially issued a birth certificate that listed him as a citizen when he was born on July 8, 1998, but found that his status was later changed to “Bukan Warganegara” or non-citizen.

Navin, who was born to a Malaysian father and Filipino mother, is also listed as a citizen in his Malaysian passport issued by the Immigration Department.

His businessman father, Moorthy, had applied twice with the NRD for his son’s citizenship, but claims that both applications were rejected by the Home Ministry.

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