• Farah Salim

Citizenship process of children born to Malaysian mothers overseas to complete within 3 months


29 Dec 2021 By Farah Salim PUTRAJAYA: The National Registration Department (NRD) here has today facilitated the processing of citizenship documents for three of the Plaintiffs for their overseas-born children which was said to take within three months. This was revealed by Family Frontiers Malaysia who president Suriani Kempe expressed surprise by the ease and speed of the process. “On Dec 29, three of the plaintiffs in Suriani Kempe & Ors v Government of Malaysia & Ors went to the NRD to obtain citizenship documents as authorised by the High Court. “NRD officers efficiently facilitated the process of accepting the citizenship forms under Article 14(1)(b) of the Federal Constitution, to be issued within three months to the overseas-born children of the impacted mothers,” the group said in a statement today. According to Suriani, the NRD officers swiftly and efficiently facilitated the process of obtaining their citizenship confirmation certificate. “Within three months, their children will finally be recognised as Malaysian citizens, and the mothers can use the citizenship confirmation certificate to obtain their children's identity cards. “In line with the High Court judgment which applies to all other mothers facing this difficulty similarly affected mothers can go to the nearest NRD office to obtain MyKad/MyKid for their children. “NRD has informed Family Frontiers that they will be issuing instructions to all other NRD offices in the country as well as Malaysian Embassies and High Commissions to facilitate Malaysian mothers in obtaining their overseas-born children's citizenship-related documents,” she said. Previously, six affected Malaysian mothers with overseas-born children together with advocacy group Family Frontiers had on September 9 succeeded in their lawsuit in the High Court against the Malaysian government, the JPN director-general and the home minister. The High Court had decided that Malaysian mothers have the same right as Malaysian fathers under the Federal Constitution to pass on citizenship to their children born overseas, and had also ordered the authorities to issue the relevant documentation such as identity cards and passports to such children born to Malaysian mothers. However, the Malaysian government, home minister and the NRD director-general had on September 14 filed an appeal against the High Court’s decision for citizenship-linked documents to be issued to the Malaysian mothers’ overseas-born children. The High Court had on Nov 15 rejected the government’s stay application, which then resulted in the Malaysian government then going to the Court of Appeal to ask for a stay of the High Court’s September decision. On Dec 22, the Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed the Malaysian government’s application to stay or temporarily suspend issuing citizenship-related documents to children born overseas to Malaysian mothers. The Court of Appeal’s decision means the government would have to issue citizenship-related documents upon application to children born overseas to Malaysian mothers that were married to foreigners ― even before the appeal proper is heard in March 2022.