- Published on Tuesday, 21 March 2017 12:57
TAIPING: An 11-year-old boy hailing from Perak has been denied a Malaysian citizenship by the National Registration Department (NRD) due to an infinitesimal ‘technicality.’
Jia Yi is the child of a mixed marriage between a Malaysian man and an Indonesian woman, who was welcomed to this world a day before his parents registered their marriage.
Due to this ‘technicality,’ Jia Yi’s hopes of becoming a Malaysian citizen was met with repeated obstacles.
But The Star revealed that his parents’ journey to register their marriage was not a bed of roses as they too faced many delays and challenges – even when they were finally blessed with a specific date to register their marriage, Jia Yi’s mother coincidentally went into labour.
And for the past four years, his father, Tan Ban Guan, has submitted his son’s application to be a Malaysian citizen – three times – only to be rejected.
His mother on the other hand, didn’t register Jia Yi’s birth in Indonesia, which means the little boy is without an Indonesian citizenship as well.
It goes without saying that Ban Guan is concerned over his son’s future, even more so when he claims that Jia Yi’s becoming more quiet and withdrawn.
“We are very worried for his future. What’s going to happen when he comes of age?
“He won’t be able to further his education, neither can he gain legal employment,” he lamented.
“In the last two years, he has become more aware of his situation and keeps asking us about it.”
Adding more salt to the wound is the unfortunate reality that his grades are on downward spiral coupled with the fact that he’s being bullied by his fellow classmates for being odd.
Despite his oddity, Jia Yi is noted for his talent and skill in volleyball – but due to his stateless status, he’s unable to compete in any of the State Schools Sports Council meets.
As a matter of fact, his coach Patrick Morton, has also lent a helping hand in Ban Guan’s endeavour to register Jia Yi as a Malaysian citizen.
“He is good enough to represent the state. The obvious reason that he has not been selected is because he’s not a Malaysian citizen,” Morton said.
“The boy is a victim of circumstance. We were told that his application will take a year to process.
“Hopefully, it can be done faster since it is not a very difficult case to process.”
When reporters asked Jia Yi of his attentiveness regarding the situation, he nodded and expressed his wish to be acknowledged as a Malaysian citizen like his siblings and friends.
“I want to continue attending school and one day represent the country in volleyball,” shared the boy who hopes he too would obtain a MyKid someday.
- Malaysian Digest