Proposals accepted for constitutional amendments over citizenship

SINTOK: Eight suggestions pertaining to the amendment of the Federal Constitution to provide citizenship to children born abroad by Malaysian mothers and foreign fathers have been accepted.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said a special committee formed to study the matter had agreed to accept the suggestions.

However, he said no decisions had been made so far as it would have to go through other processes at various stages.

The suggestions included lowering the age limit from 21 to 18 for the renunciation of citizenship and the method of implementing the amendment would be retrospective or prospective when enforced.

“This means when the amendments take effect, a child will be a Malaysian citizen and also have citizenship to another country because of his father, so the child would have dual nationalities.

“But our Federal Constitution does not allow dual citizenships, so when does the child have to renounce? Right now, the age set is 21, we are suggesting to reduce it to 18 so that it’s the same as the voting age.

“This will involve several amendments to the Constitution and related Acts, so it will need to be coordinated,” he told reporters after attending the Madani Icon Townhall programme at Universiti Utara Malaysia here on Saturday.Two special committees were set up to study matters related to the amendments, first at the ministry level chaired by the ministry’s secretary-general, and the other at the Cabinet level under his chairmanship, Saifuddin Nasution said.

According to Bernama, both committees would conduct detailed studies and discuss with stakeholders – as well as look at how other countries tackled the issue – to ensure a comprehensive solution could be produced for the amendment.

The suggestions will need to be agreed at the ministry and Cabinet levels before being presented to the Conference of Rulers.

If consent is granted, it will then be tabled in Parliament, tentatively by this year.

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citizenship , children , born , abroad


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