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M’sian mother unable to get citizenship papers for daughter…despite court ruling

Publish date: Sat, 21 May 2022, 07:40 PM

A MALAYSIAN mother who gave birth to her daughter in China posted a video on social media to voice her frustration for being unable to get citizenship documents from the National Registration Department (NRD) despite having a court order.

Known only as Alison, she related her ordeal on having no choice but to give birth to her daughter in China as she had to undergo an emergency caesarean operation.

“My daughter was born in China in 2016. She was born prematurely and I couldn’t get back in time to Malaysia to give birth. I had a dangerous emergency caesarean there.

“Right after her birth, we submitted her application (Article 15 of the Federal Constitution) in the Malaysian Consulate in Naning, China.

“The application was submitted in 2016, and now it it’s 2022. My daughter still has not got her Malaysian citizenship,” she said. 

Alison added that she was in China back then as she was teaching in a university, adding she was conducting research, thinking it would make her home country proud.

Nevertheless, with the backing of a court order, Alison resubmitted her daughter’s citizenship application (Article 14 of the Federal Constitution) in March this year.

“But now it’s mid-May and my application is still under process. If I had been a father, my daughter would have had her Malaysian citizenship already.

“Even with a court order instructing the NRD to rapidly process the citizenship application under Article 14 for overseas born children to Malaysian mothers, the process is taking too long,” she lamented.

Unsure on why the process is delayed, Alison said her family was “hanging on a line” and are having second-thoughts on whether her daughter can get her citizenship.

She then started speaking in Malay, asking “Mana Dokumen Kami” (Where is our document).

“I appeal to the Government. Please, mana dokumen kami? Saya juga anak Malaysia. (Where is our document. I’m also a Malaysian).

“My daughter is also a Malaysian citizen and a child of Malaysia,” Alison added.

Home minister, NRD defiant

The nearly two-minute video ends with a caption saying that Alison is one of many Malaysian mothers with overseas born children unable to get citizenship documents from the NRD.

Coming under the Mana Dokumen Kami movement, they urged the Government to produce citizenship documents immediately to children born overseas to Malaysian mothers.

In December of last year, the High Court ruled that Malaysian mothers have the same rights as Malaysian fathers under the Federal Constitution to pass on citizenship to their children born overseas.

The judge then ordered the authorities to issue relevant documentation such as identity cards and passports to such children born to Malaysian mothers.

However, the Malaysian Government, home minister and the NRD director-general had filed an appeal against the decision. While the Court of Appeal has agreed to decide on the matter on June 22, it refused to grant a stay against the High Court’s decision. – May 21, 2022

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