Published on: Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Kota Kinabalu: A Sabahan woman from Kg Tamalang Silou, in Inanam, can now proudly called herself a Malaysian - at age 51.
And its largely due to the mobile court.
Morrin Joseph Loson, born in Brunei was still holding a red Malaysian Identity Card (Permanent Resident or now MyPR) although she was brought back to the State with her two brothers by their Sabahan parents in 1961.
She took her oath at the State National Registration Department here on Aug. 15. She was originally asked to fly to the headquarters in Putrajaya just for this, after her citizenship application was approved on Oct. 6, 2010.
However, with assistance from the mobile court, the process was transferred to department here to make it easier, the Kadazandusun mum said.
Her long wait to be a full-fledged Malaysian came about when she approached the mobile court during one of its sessions early last month.
She had wanted badly proper documents to assist in her preparation for a pilgrimage to Rome.
At that time she was also busy fulfilling the paperwork requirement as asked by the department headquarters in Putrajaya to enable her get her letter of approval for her citizenship application be sent to its office in Sabah and have the whole process be held here, instead of there because she cannot afford to fly to Putrajaya for the purpose.
Following the oath-taking, she now has to wait for her Certificate of Citizenship to be issued within the next three to six months, and then have her identity card changed to blue MyKad.
Nevertheless, although there is light at the end of the tunnel for her predicament, her it is not so for her two brothers who are still holding red MyPR.
Elbert and Jimmy both have also applied for Malaysian citizenship thrice but were rejected. Another sad thing for her was that because of this, she was unable to join a recent pilgrimage visit to Rome with her daughter.
Morrin hoped that after she gets her Malaysian citizenship she would be able to benefit from the various assistance provided by the Government, especially those meant for single mothers with children.
She also hoped she would get her citizenship certificate and blue MyKad in time to register as a voter and cast a vote during the 13th General Election, as she has always wished that one day she can cast a vote like a true Malaysian.
"It has been difficult living at your own homeland using a red identity card. People would look at you, as if you have done something wrong, because you are a Kadazan but you are holding a red identity card," she said, while hoping that her two brothers would also get their Malaysian citizenship and no longer remained stateless like now.
It was her second time applying for a citizenship on her own, and the third one if including the one their father did for them.
Her last application was made in 2008.
Morrin was accompanied by Elbert, their father Joseph and her two children during the meet at Daily Express office in Tanjung Aru here recently.
Joseph, who is now 81, said he was happy for Morrin and wished that her brothers would also get theirs soon.
Together with his wife, father and other relatives, they went to Brunei in 1953 to look for a job, adding there were many people like him from Sabah who went to the sultanate country for the same purpose.
He worked there as a storekeeper for a certain period of time until he resigned and came back to Sabah in 1961. Morrin and her two brothers were born during the couple's stay in Brunei.
According to Joseph, he had tried to apply for a Malaysian citizenship for their three children in 1973 after they arrived in Sabah, but was not successful.
"But I was told by the government official that my children can still apply for a Malaysian citizenship by their own later on," he said.
His children continued making the same application on their own, to start with Morrin's eldest brother Elbert who was even called for a group interview with 50 other hopefuls at Wisma Dang Bandang in 1985 but was not successful.
When asked they found out only one out of the 50 in his batch, a Javanese who was intending to start a business, made it to next process of becoming a citizen, said Elbert who is still feeling frustrated by the outcome of the interview session.
Elbert said the excuse given by the government official concerned then was that because the particulars of the three of them were printed on their late mother's Malaysian passport by the Bruneian authority, and that when she passed away, during the burial process, they lost her passport.
Operating a business at Star City here, Elbert who is married with another Sabahan with a MyKad said it is a bit weird for him as a Sabahan father holding a red identity card while all his children are having MyKad.