Malaysian stranded in India for 31 years

October 20th, 2008 - 1:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Oct 20 (IANS) Malaysia-born C.K. Ravindran, who went to India for studies, has been stranded in the country for the past 31 years as Malaysian authorities have refused to renew his passport although he has a nationality certificate.Ravindran completed his studies long back and has raised a family in India, but cannot return to the land of his birth. He has a valid Malaysian citizen identity card, has travelled on a Malaysian passport and holds a Malaysian birth certificate to prove his nationality.

Checks with the National Registration Department confirmed his claims about the documents and the department was trying to determine why Ravindran had difficulties getting his passport, The Star reported Monday.

Born at the Malacca General HosĀ­pital on June 25, 1948, he left for India in 1967 to study at the St. Xavier’s College in Thiruvananthapuram in India’s Kerala state. Ravindran continued his studies at Christ College in Bangalore and graduated as a rubber technologist.

He married in 1975 and he and his wife had a baby girl a year later.

“However our baby girl died within months and this badly affected my wife,” he told the newspaper in a telephonic interview.

Ravindran had planned to return to Malaysia before his passport expired in 1977 but could not do so as he did not want to leave his emotionally-disturbed wife alone in India.

He said that before his passport expired he went to the Malaysian consular office in Chennai, where he was told that it was impossible to grant him an extension.

In November 1980, he submitted an application for a new Malaysian passport and gave officers at the consular office his blue identity card and a copy of his birth certificate.

Ravindran said that although he tried convincing the officers at the consular office in Chennai of his nationality, they never believed him.

He had studied at the Tuanku Muhammad School in Kuala Pilah, St. Paul’s Institution in Seremban, capital of Malaysia’s Newgeri Sembilan state, and St. Aidan’s School in Bahau. He also has a 1963 photograph with his siblings at their house in Bahau Estate, where their father, C.K. Kumaran, was employed as a manager.

In 1989, Ravindran received an acknowledgement from the immigration attache at the consulate in Chennai telling him all his original documents had been forwarded to Kuala Lumpur for further action.

In 1995, he was asked to give the name of a Malaysian sponsor to enable authorities here to verify his story but was later informed that they could not locate the person.

Ravindran said both his parents were born in Malaysia, where his late father and 80-year-old mother hold identification cards.

“I have been through a lot and just want to return to my homeland,” says Ravindran.

Malaysian media carries reports from time to time of ethnic Indians complaining of being denied citizenship or being punished.

The Star last month carried a case of Gomathy, a young woman who was picked up from a coffee shop and jailed since she was not carrying her identification papers at that time. It was several months before the authorities realised their mistake and she was released from jail, where she gave birth to a baby girl.

Ethnic Indians, a bulk of them Tamils, came here during the British era. Today they form about eight percent of Malaysia’s 28 million population.

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