PENAMPANG: At 78, Yong Lee Hua alias Piang Lin's life as a Malaysian has been put on hold.
The National Registration Department replaced her lost MyKad with a red identity card -- that for permanent residents -- though she was born and raised in Sabah,
Yong is now unable to withdraw money from her bank or Amanah Saham Nasional accounts, transfer land to her children or renew her passport to travel -- something she has been wanting to do since her husband of 60 years died a few months ago.
"I was born in Kampung Mahandoi (about 5km from here), grew up, got married and bore eight children here. The eldest is 58 years old and the youngest is 32. But suddenly, I am stateless," she said at her home in Kampung Nosoob.
She obliged, although not quite understanding why she had to when she was already a citizen.
Yong sought the help of Moyog assemblyman Donald Mojuntin, to solve her predicament and "reclaim" her citizenship.
Mojuntin heads the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation party's citizenship and security bureau. He said he would seek an appointment with the NRD director to help resolve the matter.
He will also ask Upko president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok to bring up the matter with the Home Ministry.
He questioned the department's rigid stance and their failure to find out why someone with an identity card and a passport could be stripped of citizenship and made a permanent resident.