Government Must Withdraw Appeal against Ruling on Citizenship Right of Malaysian Mothers

Government Must Withdraw Appeal against Ruling on Citizenship Right of Malaysian Mothers

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Family Frontiers started this petition to Dato' Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob (Perdana Menteri Malaysia) and

"I can't wait to tell my daughter that she's Malaysian, just like her brother," said a Malaysian mother when the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled on 9th September that Malaysian mothers can confer citizenship automatically on their children born overseas on an equal basis with Malaysian men. 

Today, the Malaysian Government filed an appeal against this decision. 

We see this as a betrayal of the rights that are long overdue to Malaysian women. The Government had an opportunity to embrace the High Court’s decision, and move the needle towards greater justice and equality for its women citizens. Instead, the Government has chosen to perpetuate this gross injustice that has plagued Malaysia since independence, the weight of which Malaysian women have borne for 58 long years.

High Court judge Dato’ Akhtar bin Tahir ruled that the word ‘father’ must therefore be read to include ‘mother’ and that their children are entitled to citizenship by operation of law. The Court determined that provisions pertaining to citizenship rights–namely Article 14(1)(b) of the Federal Constitution (FC) together with the Second Schedule, Part II, Section 1(b) and 1(c) of the FC–must be read in harmony with Article 8(2) of the Federal Constitution, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender. In making his decision, High Court Judge Akhtar Tahir affirmed Malaysian mothers’ equal rights and opened the door for our children to no longer suffer unequal access to basic rights such as education and healthcare.

The judgement lifted the anxiety that plagued us with the uncertainty of our children’s status, well-being and future. The Government, by appealing against this decision, has delayed justice not just to Malaysian women, but their children and their extended families. Justice delayed is justice denied.

We call on Malaysians, both in the country and abroad, to sign this petition calling on the Government to withdraw its appeal against women’s equal right to citizenship.

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