• Ilona Andrew

Citizenship rights of Malaysian mothers: More than 10,000 sign petition asking Govt to drop appeal


14 Sept 2021

By Ilona Andrew


KUALA LUMPUR: More than 10,000 have signed an online petition calling the Government to withdraw an appeal against the ruling on the citizenship rights of Malaysian mothers.


As of 11.30pm today, the peititon launched on change.org had garnered a total of 11,497 signatories.


What was meant to be a joyous moment for Malaysian mothers to have their children born abroad be called Malaysians was robbed away when the Government filed an appeal against a landmark court decision yesterday.


On Sept 9, the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled that babies born overseas to Malaysian women with foreign spouses will be eligible for Malaysian citizenship after being denied the equal basis with Malaysian fathers for decades.


Family Frontiers launched the online petition urging Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and five other decision-makers to withdraw the appeal, which they regarded as a betrayal of the rights that are long overdue to Malaysian women.


The others are Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin, National Registration Department director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun, Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.


"The Government had an opportunity to embrace the High Court’s decision, and move the needle towards greater justice and equality for its women citizens.


"Instead, the Government has chosen to perpetuate this gross injustice that has plagued Malaysia since independence, the weight of which Malaysian women have borne for 58 long years," Family Frontiers pointed out in the brief petition.


It also mentioned that High Court judge Dato’ Akhtar Tahir had affirmed Malaysian mothers’ equal rights and opened the door for the children to no longer suffer unequal access to basic rights such as education and healthcare.


"The judgement lifted the anxiety that plagued us with the uncertainty of our children’s status, well-being and future. The Government, by appealing against this decision, has delayed justice not just to Malaysian women, but their children and their extended families. Justice delayed is justice denied.


"We call on Malaysians, both in the country and abroad, to sign this petition calling on the Government to withdraw its appeal against women’s equal right to citizenship."