Unity gov’t applauded for granting citizenship to children born abroad

IN a landmark decision, the unity government has successfully resolved the longstanding issue of citizenship for children born abroad to Malaysian citizens.This development has been widely applauded, with some viewing it as a significant step towards building a more inclusive and equitable society.While there has been complete silence from the Perikatan Nasional side, leaders from the Pakatan Harapan (PH) have hailed the move as a positive development.Many have praised the unity government for taking a proactive approach to addressing this thorny issue, which has long caused legal and administrative complications for affected families.Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim has called for the Malaysian Parliament to be utilised to resolve such issues of legal interpretation, rather than leaving ordinary citizens to navigate the complexities of the court system.“The clear political issue here is that the Cabinet and the government now have a strong and clear commitment to give justice to Malaysians regardless of gender or sex; whether male or female Malaysian citizens who marry foreign citizens, they have equal rights under Article 8 of the Constitution .“They have the right to pass on Malaysian citizenship to their children, regardless of whether they were born in Malaysia or abroad,” he said in a statement.Hassan praised the political will or political seriousness shown by the unity government for being able to solve the issue within 3 months of being in power, while it has been going on for the past 60 years.In a joint statement yesterday (Feb 18), the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Legal and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said and the Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail mentioned that the proposed amendment to the Federal Constitution on the matter is to replace the word “father” in Part I and Part II of the Second Schedule of the Constitution with the words “at least one of his parents” to enable mothers of Malaysian citizens to have rights according to the Constitution.The statement added that the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2023 is expected to be tabled in this Parliament session.Penang PKR citizenship program coordinator A. Kumaresan said the decision will have a huge impact on the lives of children who have been denied their rights and privileges as Malaysians.“With the government’s decision to agree to amend the Constitution to grant citizenship through the force of law to children born abroad to Malaysian mothers, many applications that have been pending for years will be resolved immediately.“This is a decision awaited by many parents out there who have not given up hope to get citizenship for their children,” he added. — Feb 19, 2023


Main photo credit: Rojak Daily

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