ALOR STAR: ‘I want to wear a school uniform and join my friends to learn at school.’
That is the plea by Muhammad Yusrizal Abdullah, 8, from Kuala Kedah here, who could not enrol in public school as he is not recognised as a Malaysian.
Although his father, Nor Mohd Yusri Yusof, 30, is a Malaysian, two out of his three children are not citizens.
This is because he did not register his marriage with an Indonesian woman in Songkhla, Thailand.
Yusrizal and his brother, Muhammad Nor Yusdanial, 3, are recognised as Indonesian nationals, while their other sibling, Muhammad Yusnizam Akmal Nor Mohd Yusri, 5, has Malaysian citizenship.
“I wish to become a police officer because I want to catch bad guys and put them in jail.
“That is why I want to go to school so that I can fulfil my dream when I grow up,” said Yusrizal when asked about his ambition.
Nor Mohd Yusri, who was seating beside his son, could only listen to the boy’s wish, at an interview at their home in Kampung Teluk Talipon, Kubang Rotan, here.
Relating his ordeal, Nor Mohdsaid he and his wife, Dewi, were married in Thailand in 2009, but did not register their marriage with the religious office.
“My wife worked as a cleaner in Penang and we decided to get married after knowing each other for sometime.
“I had to get married in a neighbouring country because at that time, my wife’s passport was held by her employer. So, it was impossible for us to get married in Malaysia.”
He said trouble began when he could not register his firstborn as a Malaysian because he was unable to produce a marriage certificate to the National Registration Department (NRD).
“I registered my second son as a Malaysian only after I returned to Songkhla to retrieve a copy of the marriage document and got an endorsement from the Malaysian consulate office there.”
However, Yusri, said he was left frustrated when he could not register his third son as a Malaysian.
“According to NRD, under the new regulation, I need to produce the original passport of my wife and other supporting documents.
“I could not comply with the requirement as my wife’s passport was with her employer.”
Things got worse when Dewi returned to her country in 2015, leaving their children’s future in a balance.
“My eldest son is supposed to be in Year Two.
“I had even bought his school uniform last year.
“I had appealed for my son to be allowed to enrol in school as a non-citizen, but it was turned down as I could not comply with regulations.”
He said he had filed an appeal for Malaysian citizenship for his two sons.
“I’m praying that my children will be granted Malaysian citizenships as they are my own flesh and blood who were born here.
“I wish to apply for an appeal under the state government’s amnesty programme and, hopefully my two sons will have a secure future as Malaysians.”