KUALA LUMPUR: Senior Umno lawmaker Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz has told the government to immediately withdraw its appeal against the recent High Court decision allowing Malaysian mothers the right to confer citizenship on their children.
He said the appeal would further discriminate against women and should not have been made in the first place.
"This is medieval thinking and it is clearly discrimination towards women," he said while debating the Royal Address in Parliament on Monday (Sept 20).
On Sept 13, the government had appealed the High Court's Sept 9 ruling which gave Malaysian women the same right as Malaysian men to confer automatic citizenship on their children born overseas.
Nazri, who is a former law minister, argued that Malaysian women married to foreign spouses should be given equal rights to confer citizenship to their children and disagreed with the government's appeal.
"I came across a report on the Internet, regarding genes or DNA of babies when they are born.
"It is inherited 50:50 from their parents. So, it is incorrect to say that the father has a higher percentage compared to the mother.
"There should not be an issue of "pure" citizens or not. That is medieval thinking and should not be entertained in 2021," he said.
"I hope the government is sincere to women and to their children who did not commit any wrongdoings.
"A child is powerless to ask parents not to give birth to them overseas," added Nazri.
He said that he noted the reply given by the government, that the appeal was made to avoid dual citizenship.
However, he said children should be allowed to make their own decision on which citizenship they would like.
"That is the choice that should be given to them when they reach the age of 18. So, the government cannot give any more excuses," he added.
"Like what the Sultan of Johor said, the government must be accepting and have loving values.
"We are one family. But from the very beginning we have rejected a genuine person who wants to be a Malaysian, without giving them the right to decide," said the Padang Rengas MP.