Other High Courts in the future may have a different interpretation than the judge in this case and it can revert to the situation before the decision was made.
Ramkarpal Singh (Pakatan Harapan-Bukit Gelugor) has warned that the High Court ruling which struck out discriminatory practices against Malaysian mothers with overseas-born children is not binding, so it does not matter whether the government withdraws its appeal against the decision or not.
Instead, he said, the government should look into amending the “ambiguous” provisions in the Federal Constitution.
“We have to realise that even if the appeal is retracted, this High Court decision is not binding on other High Courts of concurrent jurisdictions.
“What this means is that other High Courts in the future may have a different interpretation (of the relevant provisions) than the judge in this case and it can revert to the situation before the decision was made,” Ramkarpal said in his speech in the Dewan Rakyat today.
Hence, he raised the idea of a constitutional amendment to remove the ambiguity from the relevant provisions in Article 14 and Section (1)(b) of Part II of the Second Schedule of the Federal Constitution.
Article 14 deals with Malaysian citizenship by operation of law.
Part II of the Second Schedule of the Federal Constitution is in relation to Malaysian citizenship by operation of law for persons born on or after Malaysia Day.
Ramkarpal said this would prevent a situation where the interpretation of the provisions can revert to how it was before the recent High Court ruling.
“We know we will need a two-thirds majority (to amend the Constitution), but if the Constitution is amended to remove the confusion or the ambiguity to resolve the issue, then in the future, such an issue will not happen again.
“I urge the government to take action and I hope everyone will support the amendment,” Ramkarpal said.
The High Court in Kuala Lumpur had ruled on Sept 9 that Malaysian mothers and fathers with foreign spouses should be accorded the same benefit of their overseas-born children being granted automatic citizenship.
However, the government had made a filing in the Court of Appeals to quash that ruling, a move that has seen criticism from both sides of the political divide. – Malaysiakini