Man at His Best

Woman Becomes Malaysian After Six Decades

107-year-old Chinese Malaysian finally gets a MyKad. On her sixth attempt.

BY Jason S Ganesan | May 20, 2016 | Culture

The Star

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. And again. And again. And again.

107-year-old Teo Kim Len did just that, and succeeded in finally becoming a Malaysian citizen on her sixth attempt—after living in the country for over six decades.

The China-born Teo came to Malaysia with two of her children when she was 46. Actually, that isn’t strictly true. 61 years ago, Malaya was still a colony, and Malaysia was eight years away from coming into existence.

A beaming Teo said that she can now head straight back to China—to visit her daughter and brother, both of whom she hasn’t seen since 1955.

She also told the Sin Chew Daily that the secret to her longevity is being careful with her diet, with her carbs coming mainly from oats, bread and brown rice noodles.

Teo still has a ways to go to become the oldest Malaysian on the record books, with the then 116-year-old Yati Musdi laying claim to be oldest person in the world last year. And back in 1999, Omar Abas claimed to be a cool 141 years old, nearly two decades older then the oldest person to ever live.

Teo received her blue MyKad this week from the National Registration Department (NRD). Say what you will about Malaysian governmental bureaucracy, things still get done.