Court rejects govt bid to stay ruling on citizenship for overseas-born children

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Judge found that the mothers have waited long enough and experienced hardship.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court today dismissed the Malaysian government’s application to stay its ruling that children born overseas to Malaysian mothers who are married to foreigners are entitled by operation of law to be citizens of Malaysia, pending disposal of an appeal at the Court of Appeal.

Judge Akhtar Tahir made the decision after hearing submissions by parties in proceedings conducted online.

Counsel Dr Gurdial Singh Nijar, when contacted, said the judge found that the mothers, who are plaintiffs, have waited long enough and experienced hardship and they could not wait indefinitely for the appeal process to be over as it will prejudice the plaintiffs and cause them continuous hardship.

“Judge Akhtar in his decision ruled that the defendants’ position was contradictory. On one hand, they said that an amendment to the Federal Constitution to grant mothers this right must be first approved by the Conference of Rulers. This presupposed that the amendment was necessary.

“However, there is no question of an amendment because the court has already decided that the mothers have this right under the Federal Constitution. Furthermore, if the amendment goes through, there is no question of retracting any documents issued to the mothers as directed by the court,” said Gurdial.

The defendants are the Malaysian government, the home minister and the National Registration Department (NRD) director-general.