Case for 11-year-old’s citizenship bid pushed to June as guardian, ministry try to reach agreement

Lawyer Robin Lim is pictured at the Federal Court in Putrajaya April 25, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Lawyer Robin Lim is pictured at the Federal Court in Putrajaya April 25, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

PUTRAJAYA, April 25 — The Court of Appeal today fixed June 20 to hear an 11-year-old boy’s appeal against the High Court’s rejection of his legal bid for Malaysian citizenship in 2016.

Judge Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli set the date so that the Home Affairs Ministry and the child’s guardian, only known as Tan, may try to resolve the matter themselves between now and then.

“The court has given time for the parties to resolve the issue. On June 20, the case management will be to update the court on the status,” said lawyer Robin Lim who represented Tan and the boy.

“By that time we hope it will be settled because this process has taken a very long time,” he told Malay Mail when met outside the courtroom.

Earlier in court, senior federal counsel told a three-panel judge comprising  Abdul Rahman, Datuk Mary Lim Thiam Suan, and Datuk Hasnah Mohammed Hashim that the ministry would reconsider the boy’s application for citizenship should Tan furnish additional documents to support the bid.

She said the ministry stated this would take about two months.

The child, who may not legally be named, was born to a Malaysian father and foreign mother in the year 2008.

He was then adopted by a single-father, aged 68, who had passed away in 2016.

Tan was named as the legal guardian for the child, and had taken over the case in the bid for the child’s citizenship.

The application for the child’s citizenship was made since his birth year with the Penang National Registry Department, as he was only granted Permanent Resident status.

Upon follow up in 2011, however, the appeal was rejected; a second application was made but was also rejected.

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