How she got IC  only after 6 years stayed

How she got IC only after 6 years stayed

While Sarawakian natives have been waiting for decades to be Malaysian citizens, National Registration Department approves citizenship application of Puan Sri Ragad Waleed, wife of former Chief Minister of Sarawak Tun Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud in record time of 6 years!

On 7 May 2016, the wife of the former Chief Minister of Sarawak, Puan Sri Ragad Waleed Al-Kurdi with her entourage of assistants and even with policemen escorts had cast her vote in the 11th Sarawak State Elections – for the second time. Whether she had voted in the 13th General Election in May 2013 or in the 10th Sarawak State Elections in April 2011 is anyone’s guess.

However, a foreigner married to a Malaysian, having voted twice in elections held by the Elections commission certainly did raise loud alarms on citizenship granted and voting rights awarded to a foreigner who has been in Malaysia for about 6 years or so.

Any Malaysian would tell you that in Malaysia, to be able to vote in an election, one would have to be a blue MyKad holding citizen of the country.

Therefore, how did Ragad Waleed Al-Kurdi who married Tan Sri Taib Mahmud in 2010 be granted citizenship and voting rights in 6 years when there are thousands of Malaysians, including the natives, the sons and daughters of Sarawak who have been perpetually on a never-ending waiting list of those who have applied to become citizens of the country, whether through naturalisation or by registration still in a state of limbo? If she had applied for her citizenship through her marriage to a local Malaysian, just like everyone else, then it took her a record 6 years to be granted citizenship and also voting rights – a privilege many Malaysians are dreaming of, while for some it has become a nightmare.

There are 2 ways that Puan Sri Ragad could have become a citizen of this country where she is married to a Malaysian; in this case, being the lawful wife of Tun Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud, the then Chief Minister of Sarawak and under Article 15 (1) or through ways of naturalisation under Article 19 which requires the applicant to be over the age of 21 and that the applicant has resided in the federation for a period of not less than 10 years in a period of 12 years, including the 12 months immediately preceding the date of application.

Using simple logic, Ragad would have had to be on the same waiting list as all the other applicants and would still have her application in process.

Before one can be registered as a citizen under Article 15 (1) as a lawful wife of a citizen, she needs to obtain an entry permit from the Immigration Department. Section 10 of the Immigration Act 1959/1963 states that she can only apply for citizenship after completing 5 years of residence in Malaysia and an additional 2 years after getting the entry permit to becoming a citizen.

In an ideal situation like this, it should take Puan Sri Ragad at least 7 years before becoming a Malaysian citizen holding a blue MyKad, although real cases will prove that it takes more than 10 years for the application of a foreign wife to a Malaysian citizen will come through.

Which article of the Federal Constitution was used for a Syrian woman who became a wife of a Malaysian citizen who had been awarded citizenship and granted privileged voting rights in the country in 6 years?

If the National Registration Department has been using the same rule of thumb to process and approving Ragad’s application with such high efficiency and speed then why not apply the same rule of thumb of efficiency and speed when processing and approving the tens of thousands of to be Malaysian citizens’ applications?

Ironic when one of the code of ethics of the National Registration Department is “possessing integrity in objectivity, unbiased and unselfish”. Approval of Ragad’s citizenship in such a short period of time clearly shows heavy hidden hands that pushed for it to be speeded up.

Sarawakian natives especially are not even allowed to come to Peninsular Malaysia because they are still waiting to be legally recognized as Malaysian citizens even though their ancestors had toiled the land for centuries before.

They are unable to enjoy their indigenous rights and their children are stripped of their rights to education and healthcare. But Ragad will not know of all the sufferings of Sarawakians waiting to be treated as Malaysian citizens at last.

While Sarawakian natives have been waiting for decades to be Malaysian citizens, National Registration Department approves citizenship application of Puan Sri Ragad Waleed, wife of former Chief Minister of Sarawak Tun Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud in record time of 6 years!

* Writer is Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan and Publicity Secretary for Wanita DAP.

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