Zahid: Close to 700,000 granted citizenship since Merdeka

KUALA LUMPUR:  A total of 688,766 individuals were granted citizenship since Independence, said the Home Ministry.

Its Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic) said the figure represented those who were presented with certificates of citizenship as of Jan 31 this year.

"Of this figure, citizenship were granted to 69,904 Chinese, 38,024 Indonesians and 19,301 Indians," he said in a written reply to Idris Ahmad (PAS-Bukit Gantang) in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday.

He added that a total of 10,828 individuals had their citizenships revoked by the Government during the same period.

On a separate question by Darell Leikeng (PKR-Penampang), Dr Ahmad Zahid said the proposal to revoke identity cards and reissue new ones to deal with illegals in Sabah was not feasible.

"The proposal if implemented would have legal and constitutional implications.

"It would open the floodgate to legal action against the Government and its agencies," he said.

He acknowledged that the proposal was raised by several witnesses during the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Illegals in Sabah.

"However, no explanation was put forward by the witnesses as to the mechanism to implement their proposal," he added

Dr Ahmad Zahid said the Government has since set up a technical committee to manage the problem of illegals in Sabah which is headed by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

Zahid Hamidi , Parliament , Citizenship