M’sian women with foreign spouses can now get citizenship for babies born abroad

PUTRAJAYA: The Home Ministry has come up with a mechanism that will help Malaysian women married to foreigners obtain citizenship for their children who are born abroad, said its minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

Hishammuddin said there were no provisions under the Federal Constitution that allowed children born overseas to get Malaysian citizenships if their mothers were Malaysians married to foreigners.

Under Section 1(b) and 1(c) of the constitution, he said, citizenship could only offered to children born abroad if the father was Malaysian.

“The Home Ministry has decided to intoduce a new regulation implemented administratively so that Malaysian women married to foreigners can get the citizenship for their children even if they are born outside the country.

“This means that there will be no need for us to make amendments to existing laws in order to offer the citizenship to such children,” he said in a press statement issued Sunday.

Hishammuddin said applications for citizenship for such children could be submitted at the Malaysian embassies or high commissions in the respective countries.

The ministry, he said, would appoint consulate officers at Malaysian missions abroad, as its official representatives, who would accept and assist with the applications.

“Several conditions have to be met before the citizenship can be granted and one of them is that both parents submit the application jointly in order to avoid disputes on the child’s rightful citizenship.

“Both parents will have to appear in person before the consulate officer to make the application and the forms must be submitted within one-year of the child’s birth.

“The successful applicants must also present themselves and the child at the National Registration Department headquarters here to apply for the citizenship certificate and MyKid,” he said.

He said he also hoped that the move would help overcome problems of gender discrimination in the application of citizenship for children.

Related Stories: Shahrizat: Give citizenship for babies born overseas

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