Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Holding a red IC, but a Malaysian by any other name.

I think it'll be very interesting to do an objective comparison of the number of people who have been granted Malaysian citizenship or permanent residence in the 50 years since independence. Compare the figures of those who have applied, and those whose applications were accepted and rejected in terms of their home countries, racial and religious backgrounds, and political affinities.

The immigration dept and home ministry should also be compelled to reveal their reasons for accepting and rejecting citizenship and residence applications. I'm sure red IC holders like Mr Kon (ref to article below), anyone who has ever married a foreigner and all Malaysians would be very, very interested in their reasoning.

Born in KL in 1949 but still not a citizen
The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Kon Foo Chin, 58, has always called Malaysia home.

Born in 1949 in Kuala Lumpur to a Chinese immigrant father and a Malaysian mother, Foo Chin calls himself a Malaysian – but his red identity card (IC) and the authorities say otherwise.

“He applied for citizenship in the 1960s, but the only problem was that he failed the Bahasa Malaysia test which he took as a young man."

“Not being granted citizenship has been difficult because my father does not get the same kind of privileges that citizens get. Applying and renewing passport is one example,” said his son Kek Heong, 29, when contacted Tuesday.

He said his father had filled in the application forms and attached the necessary documents, including his father's birth certificate and his grandmother's death certificate in his application for Malaysian citizenship. Foo Chin's five children and even his siblings all hold MyKads, but he is still waiting.

And Foo Chin is not alone.

According to Federal Territory MCA Youth deputy chairman Yee Poh Ping, he estimated that some 200,000 Chinese residents in Malaysia are still holding red ICs.

“Most of them are senior citizens who have been living in Malaysia for many years. Some have been here even before Independence. Over the years, they have paid their taxes and contributed to the Malaysian economy, and their families are all here,” he told the press yesterday.

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