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Home Ministry to improve Malaysian citizenship screening

Publish date: Mon, 04 Mar 2024, 04:20 PM

IPOH: The Home Ministry will improve the screening processes for anyone applying for Malaysian citizenship as provided in the Federal Constitution.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said that proficiency in the national language remained a requirement for anyone applying for Malaysian citizenship as provided in the Federal Constitution.

Saifuddin said applicants' proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia would be tested through several screening processes, including written tests and face-to-face interviews.

"During my visit today to witness the process, I noticed that the candidates were all born before Independence Day but they lacked the necessary documentation to obtain blue identification cards.

"So in terms of the Bahasa Melayu syllabus, there are several segments which I think are sufficient because they have components of self-identification, family background, and basic knowledge such as Malaysians delicacies or major ethnic holidays.

"The candidates were also given pictures and this would help those who are aged 80 or 90 but from my point of view, there are several improvements that can be done as we intend to make it easy," said Saifuddin in a press conference after visiting Rumah Seri Kenangan Ulu Kinta here, today. 

He added among things that could be improved was to create a more laid-back and conducive environment instead of a regimented atmosphere. 

"The word interview itself is very regimented, very structured. When I saw the process just now, I wished it could be done in a more conducive environment. 

"We will retrain our officers. Instead of having a one-on-one interview with our panel, we can do it in a group. We don't want them to be nervous because applying for citizenship is a big thing," he said. 

Saifuddin said that he had discussed this matter with the ministry's chief secretary and believed that it would not take more time to improve the system. 

"There is a lot of room that we can improve without compromising the requirements and also complying with the provisions of the law.

"We are confident that we can do this in a short time. I think we just need to be clear about the aspects of improvement. What should we do next? We hope we can make a bigger impact in this process," he said. 

Earlier, Saifuddin visited the Home Ministry building in Bandar Meru Raya here to see the process of the Malay Language Proficiency Test Programme for citizenship application.

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