Mdm Yong Lee Hua, a local Sabahan is now reinstated as citizen of Malaysia after her citizenship status was downgraded to a Permanent Resident. After 20 months of traumatic dealing with National Registration Department (NRD), with the help of national medias and pressure from bloggers, NRD manage to get their act together within weeks to officially accept that Mdm Yong Lee Hua is a citizen of Malaysia.
* Born Malaysian Given Permanent Resident Status
* NRD Turning Local Sabahan Into Foreigners Said UPKO
Sabahan gets citizenship back after 20 months
By MUGUNTAN VANAR
KOTA KINABALU: Seventy-eight-year-old Yong Lee Hua @ Piang Lin got her Malaysian citizenship back after a traumatic 20 months that turned her life upside down.
Yong, a Sabah bumiputra, who received her MyKad yesterday demanded to know why it took so long for the National Registration Department (NRD) to sort out her woes.
“I have been suffering and waiting for two years without an identity card. Now in just three minutes of turning up at the department I am given my MyKad.
“What does this mean, what have I done wrong? I want to know!” said Yong, a Sino-Kadazan from Penampangan, who was at one point screaming and crying as she received the MyKad from NRD officers.
Yong’s nightmare started when the NRD made her a permanent resident after she lost her MyKad in February last year.
Following this she had trouble gaining access to her bank and Amanah Saham Nasional accounts, before her plight was highlighted by Tan Sri Bernard Dompok’s party.
Home Minister Datuk Syed Hamid Albar who was at the NRD head office here for a briefing, told reporters that he had decided to consider granting the citizenship to Yong as it was a genuine case.
However she was never registered as a citizen and held a permanent resident status but was mistakenly issued a citizen’s identity card by the NRD in 1996, he said.
“It was only when she lost her MyKad did NRD officials realise that she was not a registered citizen and reverted to her status as a permanent resident. That is why she got back her permanent resident status,” he said.
Syed Hamid, in stressing that there was no conspiracy involved in the NRD decision, said that there were about 30,000 citizenship applications in Sabah involving locals.
He gave an assurance that each application would be carefully studied and genuine cases would be resolved,” adding that native Sabahans were rightful Malaysians but explained that Malaysia did not allow dual citizenship.
Syed Hamid said he had directed NRD to make it clear that applying for permanent resident status and citizenship were not a right but a privilege.
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