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Less Than 6% Of Applications Approved From Children Born Abroad To Malaysian Mothers

Since 2013, the government has received 30,939 citizenship applications from individuals born overseas to Malaysian fathers, and 4,901 citizenship applications from individuals born overseas to Malaysian mothers.

Family Frontiers urges the government to withdraw its appeal against the High Court ruling for automatic Malaysian citizenship to be conferred to children born overseas to Malaysian mothers and foreign fathers. Pictured: Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching (second from left) and Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto (third from left). Picture from Family Frontiers' Facebook page dated September 23, 2021.

KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 – Out of 591 applications received from 2021 to July 12, 2022 for citizenship from individuals born overseas to Malaysian mothers married to non-Malaysian fathers, the government has approved 33 applications, said Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin, citing figures from the National Registration Department. 

Five hundred and fifty-eight applications are still being processed, he said in a July 19 written Dewan Rakyat reply to Sekijang MP Natrah Ismail, who wanted to know how many such applications the government has received during the period specified. 

In a separate inquiry, Natrah also wanted to know the time it will take for the government to process the applications. Additionally, she inquired about the status of the children applying for citizenship, given that their mothers are Malaysian citizens. 

Every citizenship application will be processed and reviewed accordingly before a decision is made, according to Hamzah in a written Dewan Rakyat reply on July 25. “The burden to provide proof of citizenship is the responsibility of every applicant and the process of considering the application is subject to the conditions of Part III of the Federal Constitution, Acquisition of Citizenship, 1964 [L.N.82/1964].

“Every citizen application is made individually with different information and support documents provided, therefore review and consideration of the applications will also differ based on need, evidence and the facts of the case based on the information provided,” he said.

“The facts and documents provided by each individual will be examined in the appropriate order before a decision is made. As such, no specific period of time is set for issuing a decision and it varies based on the needs of the case,” he added.

“Kindly be reminded that conditions provided for in the Federal Constitution only allows for an application to be made, but doesn’t guarantee that the application will be approved.”

In a written reply to Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto on the same date, Hamzah said that 30,939 citizenship applications were received for individuals born overseas to Malaysian fathers from 2013 to June 30, 2022. 

During the same period, 4,901 citizenship applications were received from children born overseas to Malaysian mothers with non-Malaysian spouses.

As to her question on when the government will amend the Federal Constitution to ensure that there is no discrimination towards citizenship applications by children born overseas to Malaysian mothers, Hamzah said that a Cabinet meeting on September 24 last year had decided that a committee will be established to study and amend Article 14(1)(b) of the Federal Constitution.

The committee will be jointly chaired by the Home Minister and the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Laws).

“This committee will examine and review the proposed amendments related to Part III of the Federal Constitution, especially Article 14(1)(b).”

Article 14(1)(b) covers citizenship by operation of law of persons born on or after Malaysia day.

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