Rohana Abdullah, the 22-year-old woman who was left by her Indonesian birth mother to be cared for by a Malaysian Chinese woman, shed tears of joy today while accepting the letter granting her Malaysian citizenship from Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin.
After receiving the letter, she returned to her seat and gave her adoptive mother Chee Hoi Lan, 83, a tight embrace before both mother and daughter left the ceremony.
According to Hamzah, while on stage to receive the letter, Rohana said she was touched by the gesture.
“On stage, she (Rohana) cried as she said she had been waiting for a long time for the decision regarding her citizenship application.
“She expressed her thanks to the government and I informed her that we grant citizenship to eligible individuals,” Hamzah said about Rohana’s reaction after receiving the letter.
Rohana was one of 34 recipients aged five to 24 who received Malaysian citizenship at the ceremony held at the home ministry.
Article 15A of the Federal Constitution provides a special power for the federal government to register a person under the age of 21 as a citizen.
Rohana’s citizenship issue attracted the attention of Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who had contacted her to assist with her documentation.
Rohana was reportedly abandoned when she was two months old by her biological mother, an Indonesian citizen. She was then cared for by Chee, who was a teacher at a kindergarten where her mother had worked as a cleaner.