Hamzah: AG to brief King on child citizenship issue

PETALING JAYA: The contentious citizenship issue involving children born to Malaysian mothers outside the country will be brought to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah’s attention as soon as possible, says Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.

The Home Minister said this came following a Cabinet meeting yesterday that included a briefing by Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun.

“The Cabinet agreed for the AG to bring up this matter to the King.

“This is our decision for an understanding with the Conference of Rulers. After that, we will decide the next step,” he told a virtual press conference yesterday.

Hamzah said the government would proceed with its appeal against the High Court ruling that granted Malaysian women equal rights to confer automatic citizenship on their overseas-born kids.

“The Cabinet decided to proceed with the appeal and the stay of execution order. This is to avoid action taken against the government for contempt of court. At the same time, the government will abide by the Federal Constitution,” he said.

Hamzah cited the May 21 High Court ruling on Mahisha Sulaiha Abdul Majeed, where it ruled in favour of the government and a subsequent appeal is set to be heard in November this year.

On Sept 9, in the case of Suriani Kempe, the High Court ruled against the government.

“Taking into account the two different rulings with court proceedings on the Mahisha case still ongoing at the Court of Appeals, the Cabinet agreed to proceed with its appeal and application for stay of execution over the High Court decision in Suriani’s case,” he said.

In a landmark ruling on Sept 9, the High Court ruled that Malaysian mothers with foreign spouses could automatically pass on their citizenship to their children born outside Malaysia.

An appeal was subsequently filed by the government on Sept 14.

On Wednesday, Hamzah said steps would be taken to amend the Federal Constitution to allow Malaysian mothers the right to confer automatic citizenship on their children born outside Malaysia.

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