December 11, 2017
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KUALA LUMPUR: Several individuals’ desire to become Malaysian citizens was finally attained yesterday when they received documents establishing Malaysian citizenship status and now they can enjoy the privileges after decades of waiting.

For housewife S. Vanitha Mani, 37, nothing could describe her excitement of getting her citizenship after waiting for almost 20 years. She had applied several times for citizenship but each time her application failed due to some problem with documentation.

Vanitha Mani, accompanied by her husband, P. Arumugam, 45, was smiling broadly when she received her citizenship approval letter from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at a ceremony, here, Tuesday.

“No word can describe my happiness today. Thank you for finally accepting me as a Malaysian citizen. Moreover, I am very happy to receive my citizenship approval letter personally from a leader who does not sideline other races in the country,” she told Bernama after the ceremony.

Vanitha Mani, who hails from Karaikudi in India, has been living in Malaysia since marrying her husband who is a Malaysian in 1998. The couple is blessed with seven children, aged from six to 19 years.

She said Malaysians were very fortunate because from birth, various assistance were provided by the government, especially in areas of health and education, and various loans were made available to start businesses.

“Before, when I went for treatment at the 1Malaysia Clinic, I had to pay RM15 but now as a citizen I only have to pay RM1,” said Vanitha Mani who got her permanent resident status in 2010.

A doctor who serves at a health clinic in Taiping, Perak, Dr Celine Soosai, 47, said she felt overwhelmed at eventually becoming a Malaysian citizen.

Born in Chennai, India, she was adopted by a Malaysian couple and raised in this country. Her attempts to obtain citizenship failed after her application was rejected several times since the age of 12, until she went to study in India for seven years.

“Upon my return, I was given a permanent resident card, and served at Ipoh Hospital until I moved to Taiping. Finally, my efforts bore fruit after applying for citizenship through the Mydaftar initiative and today I am a Malaysian citizen,” she said.

The Special Implementation Task Force under the Special Unit for Socio-Economic Development of the Indian Community (SEDIC) implemented the Mydaftar initiative in 2011.

The Mydaftar Mega Initiative was initiated early this year, in line with the Malaysian Indian Blueprint (MIB) to fully resolve citizenship issues among the Indian community.

A total of 177 Indians comprising those who were born before independence, those whose births were not registered and those who had no identification documents, received their citizenship approval letter Tuesday.

— BERNAMA



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