Appeal should not have been made in the first place.
Senior Umno lawmaker Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz has told the government to immediately withdraw its appeal against the recent High Court decision allowing Malaysian mothers the right to confer citizenship on their children.
He said the appeal would further discriminate against women and should not have been made in the first place.
“To punish women by saying their child cannot be a citizen simply because they married a foreigner and their child was born overseas, is a form of discrimination that should not exist in 2021.
“If the High Court has decided, the government does not need to appeal. I ask the government to have a heart for our women and the innocent children affected.
“I ask the government to retract its appeal. There’s no point. It’s needless to continue with this… unnecessary,” he said in debating the King’s speech on Monday (Sept 20).
“This is medieval thinking, and it is clearly discrimination towards women,” he added.
Nazri, who is a former law minister, argued that Malaysian women married to foreign spouses should be given equal rights to confer citizenship to their children and disagreed with the government’s appeal.
“I came across a report on the Internet, regarding genes or DNA of babies when they are born.
“It is inherited 50:50 from their parents. So, it is incorrect to say that the father has a higher percentage compared to the mother.
“There should not be an issue of “pure” citizens or not. That is medieval thinking and should not be entertained in 2021,” he said.
“I hope the government is sincere to women and to their children who did not commit any wrongdoings.
“A child is powerless to ask parents not to give birth to them overseas,” added Nazri.
He said that he noted the reply given by the government, that the appeal was made to avoid dual citizenship.
However, he said children should be allowed to make their own decision on which citizenship they would like.
“That is the choice that should be given to them when they reach the age of 18. So, the government cannot give any more excuses,” he added.
“Like what the Sultan of Johor said, the government must be accepting and have loving values.
“We are one family. But from the very beginning we have rejected a genuine person who wants to be a Malaysian, without giving them the right to decide,” said the Padang Rengas MP.
On a separate issue, Nazri called for equal allocations for all MPs, regardless of whether they were backbenchers or opposition.
He said it should be made a norm, because the funds ultimately help the people.
“There should be no discrimination against opposition MPs. This is because the Malaysians who elected them should not be punished as part of the principles of democracy that the country practises,” he added.