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Brunei
Thursday, October 6, 2022
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Thursday, October 6, 2022
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    Azalina files motion seeking to amend M’sian citizenship law

    ANN/THE STAR – A motion has been filed by Azalina Othman for the tabling of a Private Member’s Bill in Parliament for a constitutional amendment in relation to the citizenship of children born abroad to Malaysian mothers.

    The Pengerang Member of Parliament (MP), who is also the chairman of the Parliamentary Special Select Committee on Women and Children Affairs and Social Development, filed the motion to Dewan Rakyat secretary Nizam Mydin Bacha Mydin on Thursday.

    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).

    Four other MPs – Fuziah Salleh, Ahmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil, Alice Lau and Hannah Yeoh have also submitted similar Bills related to this issue.

    A Private Member’s Bill is on proposed law submitted by MPs not from the executive branch of government.

    On August 29, Azalina said 1.86 million Malaysian women are living overseas, citing reasons for citizenship issues as one of the main factors deterring them from coming back to Malaysia.

    This figure represents 12 per cent of the total female population of 15.6 million in Malaysia.

    “This makes Malaysia the country with the second highest regional rate of women migrating with 57 per cent, second only to Thailand, and above the global average of 48 per cent,” she said.

    She said the issue of citizenship was not just one of gender inequality.

    In September last year, the High Court ruled that Malaysian women have the same right as Malaysian men to confer automatic citizenship on their overseas-born children.

    The decision was, however, overturned by the Court of Appeal on August 5.

    In a majority ruling, the court held that the constitutional provision referred to the biological father and could not be extended to include the mother or parents.

    It was up to Parliament, not the court, to rewrite the Constitution, the judges said.

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