KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — A High Court today granted Putrajaya a three-month stay on its previous order to recognise Malaysia-born Navin Moorthy as a citizen and issue him an identity card (IC).
The conditional stay, said Navin’s lawyer Annou Xavier, is pending the government’s appeal in the Court of Appeal in the case.
“The condition is for the appeal to be brought forward faster by the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC),” he told reporters after the decision was given in chambers by High Court Judge Datuk Hue Siew Kheng.
According to Annou, Putrajaya must issue the IC to Navin, who turns 17 this year, if they fail to get the appeal heard by the end of the three-month stay.
No date has been set for the Court of Appeal’s hearing of the government’s appeal against the order to grant Navin his Mykad ― which is typically granted to a Malaysian citizen at the age of 12.
On November 25 last year, Hue 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 in December 2013 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.