Wednesday August 1, 2012
Senior citizens finally get their approval letters
Story and photos by FONG KEE SOON
SENIOR citizen Lee Yeow Choy’s long wait for his Malaysian citizenship is finally over.
The 68-year-old was among six permanent residents whose application for citizenship had finally been approved.
“I had tried to apply for citizenship years ago, but it was difficult as I do not have a birth certificate.
“I also lacked elementary knowledge of the Malay language, which is part of the requirement,” said the Taman Sri Cempaka resident, who had been holding a red identity card all this while.
He later managed to apply for a birth certificate and successfully passed the Malay language test after learning the national language from his Malay friends.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong was present to give away the approval letters to Yeow Choy and five other successful applicants in the Pasir Pinji Community Hall recently.
The presentation of citizenship was part of Ipoh Timur MCA’s roadshow which also saw MCA secretary-general Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha presenting new motorcycle helmets to villagers.
Lee also presented the one-off RM3,000 assistance to 14 widows and widowers of servicemen who served the country during the Malayan Emergency.
The payment or aid, announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in Budget 2012, was in appreciation of their services and to help them with their living expenses.
Among the recipients was N. Thangama, 84, who received the cheque on behalf of her husband S. Muthiah who had since passed away.
“I am grateful to the government for supporting the family of ex-servicemen.
“It also goes to show that sacrifices made by so many during active service are not forgotten,” said the Chemor resident
Out of about 70,000 ex-servicemen nationwide, 65,471 had successfully applied for the one-off payment, while 2,158 applicants nationwide had been disqualified.
About 2,000 applications are still pending approval due to incomplete documentations.
Lee, who is also an MCA central committee member, said those who want to apply for the payment can obtain the forms from the Home Ministry or download it from the ministry’s website.
“Those who served during the Emergency and (the Indonesia-Malaysia) Confrontation between the 1940s and 1960s will need to produce evidence, such as documentation, medal, or verification by other former servicemen, to qualify for the payment.
“They can also seek assistance at Home Ministry offices, police stations or MCA branch offices nationwide to apply for the one-off payment,” he said.
Lee also gave advice to a number of people who came to apply for the new version of the MyKad with improved security features introduced in January this year, as well as to update their personal details.
Also present were officers from the Kinta Welfare Department, who presented a one-off RM200 assistance to 71 poor people living in the Ipoh Timur constituency.