Dual Citizenship & Automatic Citizenship for children born by Malaysian mother overseas

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My petition is in relation to 2 Key Points that are currently affecting Malaysian living abroad. 

1- Dual Citizenship 

Many Malaysian who lives overseas by marriage or work commitment face common issues with the inability as Malaysian to hold dual citizenship. There are many advantageous for Malaysian to be able to hold dual citizenship overseas such as better job opportunity, subsidised healthcare and educational system, better safety network, better family ties, reduce red tape with visa renewal process, strengthening family ties to name a few. These means a better prospect for Malaysian to progress and shine overseas. Currently there are many Malaysian who were forced to give up their Malaysian citizenship because they have no better choice as they need to take up a job that requires a citizenship, to withdraw their KWSP  savings, and some because they feel so troublesome dealings with bureaucracy and unnecessary and unregulated process at the department of KDN, they just can’t be bothered.

I really don’t see any issues with dual citizenship personally for as long as the person is able to maintain their ties with both country of citizenship either by family ties, business/investments or property. We cannot put barrier for people to succeed and continue progressing in their life. Many Malaysian like myself who lives abroad feels disadvantagous with the current system. The ability to hold dual citizenship will help to strengthen our values, connection with our beloved Malaysia and making our life easier whilst living abroad. The current system is outdated and needs to change to open more doors of opportunity for many Malaysian. 

2- Automatic Citizenship for children borne by Malaysian mother to foreign partner 

At this moment only children borne by a Malaysian father will get an automatic citizenship status regardless where the birthplace of the children is. Whereas the children of Malaysian mother who were married/partner to a foreigner will not receive an automatic citizenship if they were born overseas (some cases even if the child was born in Malaysia with foreign father). Only very few applications if any has been successful. This were on case by case basis and on discretionary of the officer you are dealing with. This for me is utterly wrong. This shows that our current rule is biased, inconsistent and treating women like a second class citizen!

I have been through the JPN in Malaysia countless time with this issues as my daughter was born overseas to a foreign father and she can’t be registered for a mykid. I was even instructed to go to different JPN offices in my visit to Penang last year because none of the officers know what the actual SOP were. I also contacted the KDN in regards to applying for a citizenship for my daughter and was told it will take years of process and waiting just to be considered. Prior to that I have been in contact with the Malaysian consulate overseas where I am residing and was told that the automatic citizenship only applies to a Malaysian man. The KDN officers has also confirmed what the Malaysian Consulate has said. The KDN has also imposed a ridiculous demand for us to return to Malaysia for a while before making an application for citizenship and for us to make an appeal (if being declined). I have then resorted back to the JPN with the hope my daughter could maybe been granted with a Mykid card instead, even with all the required documents in hand I was told a different version of rules and process. Every time that you speak to a different officers of JPN you’ll receive some inconsistent answers or explanation. They even push you around to different officers and branch for no good reason. Some made comment like ‘siapa suruh kawin orang luar’. Some said the child need to be registered at the closest Malaysian consulate before they turn 1, but those that I know who did this has also been rejected after so many years of being in limbo with the KDN. I still don’t get it why the child need to be registered within 12 months after birth to be ‘Considered’ a citizenship but it’s an automatic grant when it’s for Malaysian father. It’s a double standard. 

I have also known many other Malaysian mothers who lives both overseas and in Malaysia who has been through the same experience and some took over 5 years or 10 even of waiting time and answers from the KDN only to receive rejection for no valid reason. Again the current system in placed are not robust,inconsistent and all over the place regarding our child rights to citizenship when it comes to a Malaysian mothers to a foreign husband in general, or worst when the child was born overseas. 

This rule for me is sexist and very discriminating against all Malaysian women/mother. Why can’t our kids have the same equal right to citizenship  like the Malaysian father? Why can’t any kids born by any Malaysian receives the same equal rights as citizen especially when there are proof and evidence of legitimacy of relationship and parentage of the mother/parents and the child. 

There are many cases of abuse in mixed marriages and some mother were unable to take their child home and scared to live far away from their children in the case of marital break up because their children are not a Malaysian citizen. This is very alarming and discriminating.

These days we often hear more about gender equality, children rights and women rights to better treatment at home and work as well as equal opportunity for all. Many people think women should contribute more to family and country as a whole but how to attract those highly educated talented and successful Malaysian women home when we preclude their children from becoming Malaysian citizen. This explains the ‘brain drain’ phenomena in Malaysia currently. 

I’d like to see the New Malaysia appropriate bodies to look into this urgently because the current rule is cruel, injustice, discriminated against and an insult to every women/mother on this planet. This explains well why some Malaysian women who lives overseas stays in an abusive relationship. This it is due to the lack of support and place to go to as Malaysian who lives abroad. The New Malaysia can attract many talented foreigners to come and lives in Malaysia if their kids to a Malaysian mother would be allowed to stay in Malaysia as citizen  and remain for as long as they need. 

Dr Wan Azizah cum DPM of Malaysia who hold Wanita Portfolio currently  and other activists in Malaysia should really look into this and make changes necessary because it has been a huge deal for many Malaysian who lives abroad. The current system is like a draconian Law and need to be replaced. 

I really hope with the new government administration in placed and as the true spirit of Inclusive Malaysian shown recently in the GE14 we can get as many support as possible to this petition. Let’s make the change that matters!