India-born siblings get Malaysian citizenship after 30 years

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Kuala Lumpur, Nov. 13 (ANI): Two Malay-Indian siblings have obtained their Malaysian citizenship after remaining state-less for more that 30 years.

After their 30-year-long struggle, a Malaysian High Court on Thursday declared that R. Thirupathi, 34, and his sister Meena, 31, are lawful citizens of Malaysia under Section 14(1)(b) of the Federal Constitution, the Star Online reports.

Their father, Malaysian M. Ramanoojum, 79, had married an Indian wife N. Pushpam who later took up Malaysian citizenship.

However, she failed to register the birth of both of her children with the Malaysian Embassy, as both of them were born in India.

In an September 2007 affidavit, Ramanoojum and his family held the Home Minister, the director-general of the National Registration Department and the Government of Malaysia as respondents.

The three claimed they had failed to get any reply from the minister over the application for citizenship for the siblings.

After the delivery of the verdict, Ramanoojum said he was very happy.

"I have been waiting for this day for years. I have struggled to get citizenship for my children since 1978. I told Meena that we have won our case and she was very happy and eager to come here," he said.

He said Meena, who is married to an Indian national, had a five-year-daughter and had never been to Malaysia.

Their lawyer had submitted that the siblings were citizens by right and thus should not be denied their citizenship due to a minor oversight of failing to register their birth with the Malaysian Embassy in India within one year of their birth.

"They are stateless. They cannot apply for Malaysian or Indian passports," M. Manoharan argued. (ANI)

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