LET us ask this straightforward question: does the Attorney General’s Chambers, and in fact the Government, think that women are second-class citizens?How else can we think about the AGC appealing against Malaysian women having the right to confer their citizenship to their children born abroad, a right that is automatic for men? Worse still, how can the AGC claim that the 2001 amendment that added the word “gender” to Article 8(2) of the Federal Constitution be invalid?
That article originally stated that no one can be discriminated against based on race, religion, descent, or place of birth. To keep up with the times, Parliament amended that article to include the word “gender”. For the first time, women felt protected by the Constitution if not always in reality.