Malaysian women can register children born abroad

The Star 12.04.2010

PUTRAJAYA: The Home Ministry has come up with a mechanism to help Malaysian women married to foreigners obtain citizenship for their children, including those who are born abroad.

Home Minister Datuk Seri His hammuddin Tun Hussein said there were no provisions under the Federal Constitution before this that allowed children born overseas to get Malay sian citizenship if their mothers were Malaysians married to foreigners.

“We have decided to implement a new regulation to enable Malaysian women married to foreigners to get citizenship for their children even if they are born outside the country.

“There is no need for us to make amendments to existing laws,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Under Section 1(b) and 1(c) of the Constitution, citizenship can only be offered to children born abroad if their fathers are Malaysian.

Hishammuddin said citizenship application for such children should be submitted to Malaysian embassies or high commissions.

The ministry, he said, would appoint consulate officers at Malaysian missions to accept and assist with the applications.

“Several conditions will have to be met before citizenship can be granted. One of them is that both parents must jointly submit the application in order to avoid disputes over the child’s rightful citizenship.

“Both parents will have to appear in person before the consulate officer to make the application and the forms must be submitted within a year of the child’s birth.

“Successful applicants must also present themselves and the child in person at the National Registration Department headquarters here to apply for the citizenship certificate and MyKid,” he said.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil had on Thursday called on the Government to grant citizenship to children born of Malay sian women married to foreigners.

She said many such women, who faced problems in securing citizenship for their children, might leave the country to seek a more secure future for their children.

“I want to thank Datuk Seri Hishammuddin for the quick and prompt response to my request that children born abroad to Malaysian mothers be granted Malaysian citizenship,” she said yesterday.

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