Monday January 24, 2011
Fujian-born Cheng finally a Malaysian after 42 years
PUTRAJAYA: In 1958, a young Cheng Eng Hock decided to come to Malaysia, confident that he could make a better life for himself here after hearing many great stories about the country.
After doing what he described as “this and that”, in the early years after he arrived, Cheng who hailed from Fujian province, China, started a business, got married and raised a family.
“My life in Malaysia has been good and I want to be part of this country. I was born in China but I spent most of my life here. Saya orang Malaysia-lah (I am a Malaysian),” he said.
A few weeks ago, the 70-year-old Cheng received news which he had been waiting for the past 40 years — that his application to become a citizen was approved.
“It may have been a long wait but it is worth it,” said the jovial Cheng.
Cheng was among 101 applicants from Selangor and the Federal Territory who received approval letters for citizenship from Deputy Home Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong yesterday.
Insurance manager Dolley Pereira is one happy mother now that her adopted daughter Sarah Anne, four, is officially a Malaysian.
“I submitted the citizenship application two years ago and I thank the parties concerned for making this happen,” said Pereira, whose daughter was adopted locally.
For fruit seller Ismail Baginda Enak, 67, the 30-year wait to become a Malaysian citizen was worth the long wait.
“I came to this country from Padang, Indonesia, when I was in my 20s. This is my country now. My family and I are happy to be a part of this blessed country,” he said.
Now that he is officially a Malaysian, Ismail plans to take a small loan to expand his business.
Lee said the ministry had cleared all of the 29,677 citizenship applications received between 2007 and 2009 and applicants had already been informed of the outcome.
He said a majority of the citizenship applications were by foreigners with 9,960 applications, followed by parents of their adopted children (8,015) and foreign wives of Malaysian men (3,012 applications).