Lawyer Datuk Cyrus Das speaks to reporters at the Palace of Justice, Putrajaya February 14, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 14 — Three stateless children born in Malaysia ended their years-long legal battle for citizenship today when the government finally recognised them as Malaysians, just before their Federal Court hearing this morning.

Datuk Cyrus Das, a lawyer for two of the children, said the home minister granted citizenships to all three boys.

“I am pleased to inform the court that at about 6pm yesterday evening, we were informed by the ministry that the honourable minister of home affairs has decided to grant citizenship to all the children in these three cases,” he told the Federal Court today.

“The citizenships are being granted under Article 15A of the Federal Constitution,” he added.

Article 15A provides for the “special powers” of the federal government to register anyone aged below 21 years’ old as a citizen in “such special circumstances as it thinks fit”.

“This morning, we were handed the requisite letters confirming the granting of citizenship, letters from the ministry duly signed by the officer in charge of Bahagian Pendaftaran Negara dan Pertubuhan,” Das added.

The three boys, who received written confirmation today of their citizenships, are currently aged 17, 16 and eight, according to their birth month.

Their names cannot be disclosed due to a court order, but the three boy were aged 14 (P*), 15 (C*), and four (L*) when their court cases first started, based on their birth years.

Today was scheduled to be the hearing of the three cases before a nine-man panel at the Federal Court chaired by Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop.

Other judges on the Federal Court panel today are Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim, Federal Court judges Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed, Datuk Alizatul Khair Osman Khairuddin, Datuk Rohana Yusuf, Datuk Mohd Zawawi Salleh, Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, Tan Sri Idrus Harun and Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan.


*Note: The actual names of these individuals were not used due to privacy reasons and on the lawyers’ request.


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