KUALA LUMPUR: Parents are fully responsible for ensuring their children have proper documentation for citizenship applications to avoid becoming stateless, says Deputy Home Minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman.
He said the government would not automatically grant citizenship when a child is born in Malaysia.
“The burden of proof for the (citizenship of the) child is on the shoulders of the parents, not the government.
“The problem now is that many marriages are not registered. And when it is not registered, the child will face the problem.
“I call on all Malaysians, both men and women, if you dare to get married, you must dare to register, and dare to take full responsibility because any implications will be faced by the child,” he told Parliament on Monday (March 25).
“In the case where a child is born before the marriage is registered, the government will accept the application (for citizenship) not under Article 14 but Article 15A (of the Federal Constitution under special circumstances),” he said in reply to a supplementary question from Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham (PH-Beruas) during Question Time.
Ngeh had asked the government to state whether it had any intention to amend Article 15A of the Constitution to make it easier to register the citizenship of stateless children.
Mohd Azis explained that for parents of children who registered their marriage after having them, where the mother is a non-citizen, an application can be made at the National Registration Department under Article 15A.
He added that the application would be considered if it meets with all the required conditions set by the Constitution and relevant laws.
Asked to reveal the number of applications where children aged below 21 who applied for citizenship and had been approved, he said he did not have the specific details but several measures had been discussed with the Education Ministry and the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry.
“The matter will be brought back to the respective ministries and the proposals will be raised in Cabinet if it is approved at the ministerial level,” he said.