MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Court postpones verdict on citizenship for kids born abroad to Malaysian mums


The Court of Appeal has set Aug 5 as the new date to deliver its decision on the government’s appeal to deny citizenship to overseas-born children of Malaysian mothers and foreign fathers.

A three-person bench chaired by Kamaludin Md Said postponed this morning’s previously scheduled delivery of its verdict. The other panel members are S Nantha Balan and Azizah Nawawi.

This followed on the heels of the government’s legal representative, senior federal counsel Liew Horng Bin raising an additional point for the bench to consider before making a decision.

The issue raised was over whether the citizenship provisions in the Federal Constitution are precluded from being “harmoniously” interpreted by the courts in order to safeguard the Malaysian supreme law’s basic structure.

The Appellate Court set the new decision date after hearing submissions from Liew as well as counsel Gurdial Singh Nijar over the newly raised issue.

Gurdial represents the respondents in the matter, namely six Malaysian mothers and rights group Family Frontiers.

The government’s appeal was against the Kuala Lumpur High Court decision on Sept 9 last year, which declared that children born overseas to Malaysian mothers and foreign fathers are automatically entitled to Malaysian citizenship.

In the Sept 9 ruling, judge Akhtar Tahir ruled, among others, that Malaysian women (married to foreign men) have the same right as Malaysian men married to foreign women to confer citizenship by operation of law on their children born overseas.

The judge said this is due to the harmonious reading of Article 8(2) of the Federal Constitution, read together with Article 14(1)(b) of the Federal Constitution, which is also read with Section (1)(b) of Part II of the Second Schedule of the Federal Constitution.

He ruled that a reading of all these provisions together prohibits discrimination based on gender when it comes to conferment of citizenship.

The government also failed in separate bids before the High Court and Court of Appeal to stay the citizenship ruling, pending disposal of the appeal.

‘Avoiding contempt’

During a winding-up speech at the Dewan Rakyat on Sept 22 last year, Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin said that the government sought the appeal and a stay on the court ruling in order to buy time while they look into amending the Federal Constitution.

He reportedly said that the constitutional amendment would make it easier for Malaysian mothers married to foreigners to give birth overseas.

“The Home Ministry made the decision to appeal and request for a stay of execution (in this case) to buy time to avoid contempt of court and at the same time, we are not going against the Federal Constitution,” Hamzah said. - Mkini

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.