Private Member's Bill on citizenship of children born to overseas mothers rejected

KUALA LUMPUR: The Private Member’s Bill in relation to the constitutional amendment for the citizenship of children born abroad to Malaysian mothers, submitted by 17 members of Parliament, has been rejected.

Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (pic) said in a statement that all 17 MPs received a response from the Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun, notifying them of the rejection of the Private Member’s Bill.

She said the rejection was on the grounds that amendments to provisions under Part III of the Federal Constitution cannot be passed without the consent of the Conference of Rulers.

"It is my sincere hope that the government of the day prioritises measures that can be taken to allow citizenship for children born overseas to Malaysian mothers as is their birthright,” said Azalina, who is also the chairman of the Parliamentary Special Select Committee on Women and Children Affairs and Social Development.

"Members of the Parliamentary Special Select Committee for Women and Children Affairs and Social Development have expressed willingness to bring this matter to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

"We must act in the best interest of our children and the rights of Malaysian mothers, and we must act now," she added.

Explaining her reason for submitting the motion, Azalina said it was outright discriminatory to women and morally untenable to leave thousands of children born to Malaysian mothers stateless and not knowing their fate.

The other MPs behind the Bill were Alice Lau Kiong Yieng (PH-Lanang), Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan (PH-Pandan), Hannah Yeoh (PH-Segambut), Nurul Izzah binti Anwar (PH-Permatang Pauh), Fuziah Salleh (PH-Kuantan), Fahmi Fadzil (PH-Lembah Pantai), Hasanuddin Yunus (PH-Hulu Langat), Maria Chin Abdullah (PH-Petaling Jaya), Mohd Hatta Ramli (PH-Lumut), M. Kulasegaran (PH-Ipoh Barat), Kelvin Yii (PH-Bandar Kuching), Syed Saddiq bin Syed Abdul Rahman (Muda-Muar), Tan Kok Wai (PH-Cheras), Lim Guan Eng (PH-Bagan), Steven Sim (PH-Bukit Mertajam) and Tan Yee Kew (PH-Wangsa Maju).

Azalina and other MPs had filed the motion to Dewan Rakyat secretary Nizam Mydin Bacha Mydin on Thursday (Sept 15).

The Bill seeks to amend Part II of the Second Schedule of the Federal Constitution, Clause (1) (b), by inserting the words "or mother" after "father" and by adding the word "or mother" after "father" in Clause (1)(c).

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