Resolve citizenship issue for children born to Malaysian mums quickly, Wanita MCA urges govt

IPOH: The amendments to the Federal Constitution allowing Malaysian mothers the right to confer automatic citizenship on their children born outside Malaysia should be resolved quickly, says Wanita MCA.

Its chief Datuk Heng Seai Kie (pic) said many children born overseas to Malaysian mothers and foreign fathers have been suffering for too long due to gender discrimination.

“They are denied their right to citizenship despite it being no fault of theirs at all,” she said

We reiterate our position that legislation must be enacted or amended to clearly declare that so long as one parent holds Malaysian nationality, they have the citizenship rights for their children born overseas,” added Heng in a statement on Sunday (Sept 26).

On Saturday (Sept 25), Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said the issue would be brought to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah’s attention as soon as possible.

He had said that this came following a Cabinet meeting on Friday (Sept 24) that included a briefing by Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun.

Hamzah had said that 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.

On this, Heng said that Wanita MCA nevertheless has faith that the current government would have plans to enact or amend legislation to address the issue.

She added that while the government has announced that it intends to appeal the Kuala Lumpur High Court decision, Wanita MCA would like to assure the Association of Family Support & Welfare Selangor & Kuala Lumpur (Family Frontiers) that they have Wanita MCA's support.

“We will journey with you all the way during this tedious battle. Our Wanita MCA Legal Advisory and Women's Aid (Lawa) Centre is available for counselling or legal advice and is contactable at 03-2716 5943,” added Heng.

Heng said over the course of history, the government has introduced legislation and policies to uplift the status of women in pursuit of gender equality.

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