Newly-minted Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail today vowed to prioritise the issue of citizenship involving children born overseas to Malaysian mothers.
Speaking to reporters at his first press conference in the office, Saifuddin said the ministry will look into the matter from every aspect, including humanity.
“This was among the issues that I have been briefed about (after assuming the job). It will be my priority and we will look at all aspects.
“Including the aspects of our Federal Constitution, current laws and also humanity. Everything will be taken into consideration,” he said.
Under the Federal Constitution, only Malaysian fathers can pass their citizenship automatically to their children who are born overseas.
Malaysian mothers who are married to foreigners and give birth to their offspring outside Malaysia were not given the same right as the Federal Constitution omits the mention of mothers.
This had caused many children born to Malaysian mothers overseas unable to get Malaysian citizenships and had to go through tedious application processes – which often ended up being rejected by the government.
On Sept 9 last year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court, which heard a civil action by six Malaysian mothers and Family Frontiers, declared that children born overseas to Malaysian mothers and foreign fathers are automatically entitled to Malaysian citizenship.
However, the Home Ministry, then led by minister Hamzah Zainuddin, had filed an appeal to quash the High Court ruling.
The appeal was allowed by the Court of Appeal in Aug this year. Following this, the mothers had taken the case to the Federal Court.
Meanwhile, on Digital Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil’s call for the police to investigate Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor over alleged vote buying, the home minister said he would leave the matter to the police.
“We believe that if there is a basis for police to investigate, then they will do it.
“Let’s give them room and freedom to act based on reports. I believe in police’s professionalism, and I give them the freedom to do their job.”
On Sunday, Fahmi said he wanted authorities to probe Sanusi over alleged vote buying. This comes after the menteri besar, during a ceramah in Padang Serai on Friday night, railed against Perikatan Nasional (PN) supporters asking for duit minyak (transport allowance) in exchange for votes. – Malaysiakini