186 apply for citizenship

PORT KLANG: The illiterate mother and son who have been living in Pulau Ketam since they were born never got around to applying for their MyKad because they feared the process would be daunting.

When the chance came, they grabbed the opportunity to join 184 other senior citizens from Pulau Ketam and Sungai Lima in taking their citizenship interview and written test yesterday.

The mother, Teo Kim Choo, 74, said she hoped the Government would give them the chance to be “real Malaysians”.

“We have been on the island most of the time and never went to school,” said the great-grandmother.

Her 58-year-old son Chiam Eng Kim said he could not find a permanent job as he had no proper identification papers.

To earn a living, he worked as a fisherman.

Another determined candidate was 88-year-old Chang Ngen Seong. Although poor of hearing and with failing eyesight, she was determined to go through the interview.

Her son Lim Heen Nan, 54, who accompanied her for the written test, said that she had been waiting many years for this chance.

She hails from China and has been living in Pulau Ketam for the past 40 years.

Pulau Ketam MCA branch chief Chia Mong Chun said many residents there were illiterate and had never gone out of the fishing villages most of their life.

Kapar MCA division youth chief Lee Chee Chun said about 200 people applied for the citizenship during the MCA event to help the stateless residents register for their MyKad last December. It was the first time in 50 years that a mass citizenship application and interview was conducted. The applicants were aged between 50 and 88.

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