Let me live like everyone else, says stateless Muslim woman raised by Chinese adoptive mother
Published on: Saturday, January 15, 2022
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Let me live like everyone else, says stateless Muslim woman raised by Chinese adoptive mother
Former kindergarten teacher Chee Hoi Lan raised Rohana Abdullah, who was abandoned by her Indonesian mother, 20 years ago. (Photo: Metro via FMT)
PETALING JAYA: A Muslim woman who was singlehandedly raised by a Chinese kindergarten teacher is ruing the fact she is being punished for her parents’ mistake, by being deprived of Malaysian citizenship.

Rohana Abdullah said this included being forced to drop out of school because she did not have proper documents, Harian Metro reported.

At one point, Rohana said she endured severe anxiety and even attempted suicide to escape her troubles.

The only thing that stopped her from taking her life was the effect it could have on her adoptive mother, Chee Hoi Lan, 83, a single woman who has brought her up as a Muslim.

Rohana, 22, was two months old when she was abandoned by her Indonesian mother, a domestic worker at the kindergarten where Chee worked. “My father, a Malaysian, disappeared when I was little,” she said.

She said she had tried applying for citizenship since 2016 and had yet to receive a reply.

“I just want to live like everyone else. This includes getting married and opening a bank account,” the Malay daily quoted her as saying.

Chee has said she wished to see Rohana tie the knot before she (Chee) dies.

Rohana, who is fluent in Mandarin, expressed her gratitude to Chee for bringing her up and taking care of her.

The chairman of a residents committee in Zon Batu, Gulam Muszaffar Ghulam Mustakim, said they had raised Rohana’s predicament with the home ministry. He would also send an official letter to home minister Hamzah Zainudin.

“We will send the supporting documents, including a copy of the father’s identity card, Rohana’s birth certificate and her application for citizenship which she made in 2016,” he said.

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