PETALING JAYA: Either renounce or risk revocation as there is no other way out for dual citizenship holders.
An official from the National Registration Department said those who failed to voluntarily renounce would have their citizenship revoked because Malaysia does not recognise dual citizenship as stipulated under Article 24 (1) of the Federal Constitution.
The official also revealed that annually about 5,000 people renounce their Malaysian citizenship.
“Dual citizenship holders need not pay any penalty for failing to renounce their Malaysian citizenship. It is an individual’s personal responsibility to renounce their Malaysian citizenship after obtaining citizenship in another country,” said a department official.
The official said this in response to queries sent via e-mail following public complaints over the possibility of being fined RM50,000 or jailed if they failed to fill up form K to renounce citizenship.
The official said Malaysians risk losing their citizenship if the authorities are satisfied that foreign citizenship was obtained through registration, naturalisation or voluntarily through other formal arrangements other than by marriage.
“The Federal Government could then order the revocation of the person’s citizenship,” he said.
To another question, the official said it did not have a special data bank on Malaysians holding dual citizenship.
“Malaysian citizenship can only be terminated through renouncement or revocation,” it said.
The official also pointed out that under Article 23 (1) of the Federal Constitution, citizens above 21 years of age, and of sound mind, should formally renounce their citizenship when they are about to gain citizenship of another country.
He said the department welcomed feedback from those with information on dual citizenship holders.
“Our department will investigate, and proceed with revocation of citizenships once we have the evidence,” it said.