The 20-year wait was never in vain as the Kanan family was finally granted their elusive Malaysian citizenship. An elated G. Kanan, 44, and his family, comprising his wife and six children, were met at the National Registration Department (Perak) in Jelapang recently. They were there to receive their MyKads from department director, Mohd Zahari Hassan.
Those receiving the identity cards and birth certificates were Kanan’s wife, D. Citra, 34, his six children, K. Setha, 17, K. Daneswary, 16, K. Poogeswaran, 14, K. Puganeswary, 12, K. Satia Seelan, 11, and K. Mythily, 9.
Kanan, had no problem regarding his identity as he is a bona fide citizen and had acquired his MyKad a long time ago. It was his wife, D. Citra, who did not possess any documentary proof of her birthplace. All she had was a green card which is issued to non-citizens awaiting permanent residency.
His wife’s problem had invariably affected their children as, by definition, only one parent is a citizen of the country. “My children could not be registered at national schools, as a result,” said Kanan to Ipoh Echo. “Although Citra was born in the country her parents did not register her birth for reasons of ignorance,” added Kanan.
“This is a common problem, especially among estate workers who have little access to modernity and education,” said Mohd Zahari Hassan. The department receives many such applications and will investigate cases based on merits.
“It’s time consuming, as investigations will take years to complete,” Mohd Zahari added.
The anxiety is all over for Kanan and his family. “I can now proceed on with my life like any normal Malaysian,” he chipped. His children can now be admitted to national schools and sit for their exams like other kids their age.