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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Convert still not a Malaysian

IPOH: Lim Cheng Kee was so desperate to be recognised as a Malay­sian citizen that he converted to Islam, thinking that it would make it easier for him to get an identity card.

Twenty-three years after becoming Omar Lim Abdullah, the much sought-after document still eludes the 57-year-old.
Stuck in limbo: Lim showing his red Malaysian identity card and his religion conversion document during a press conference on Thursday.

“I still hold a red identity card,” said Lim, who was 34 when he converted.

Lim said that in 1986, he met a man who told him that it would be easier to get his blue identity card should he become a Muslim.

“I did not have anything to lose and so I thought I would give it a try. But then, there was no reply from the National Registration Depart­ment until last month.

“They said my application had been rejected. The letter did not say why,” said Lim, previously an odd-job worker but is unemployed now.

Lim said he sat and passed the language test twice.

He also reaffirmed that he was born in then Malaya and even had a birth certificate.

“Being illiterate, my parents were unable to provide information about my birth when applying for my identification card and I have been in a limbo ever since,” he said.

“It pains me to read about others getting their citizenship in the newspapers. What about me?”

Simpang Pulai assemblyman Chan Ming Kai, from whom Lim has sought help, told reporters that the Home Ministry should come up with proper guidelines on the requirements for gaining citizenship.


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