KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28 (Sin Chew Daily) — The National Registration Department has received a total of 2,352 applications from Malaysian mothers for the citizenship of their children born overseas since 2018, but only 21 have been successful.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said in a written reply to member of parliament for Bukit Gelugur Ram Karpal Singh that this was based on the record of the department from October 11, 2018 until now.
A total of 31 applications were rejected, he said.
Ram Karpal Singh had asked the home ministry the total number of Malaysian mothers applying for citizenship for their children and the number of those who were successful.
To another question, Hamzah replied Nga Kor Ming, member of parliament for Teluk Intan, that his ministry would classify a newborn as a citizen based on the marital status of the parents and their citizenship.
No one in the country is recorded as “stateless”, he said.
Hamzah said a baby born in Malaysia is not automatically granted citizenship.
According to Part III of the Federal Constitution and the Citizenship Rules 1964, a person’s citizenship is decided by the marital status of his or her parents and their citizenship, he explained.
Hamzah said for parents who do not register their marriages, the newborns would be following the mother’s nationality based on Clause 17, Part III of Second Schedule of the Federal Constitution.
Under such circumstances, Hamzah said the parents or guardians are responsible for the management of identity cards and travel documents of their children to ensure that the mother’s privileges as a citizen are applicable to the children so that the children would not be mistaken as being stateless.
Foreigners and non-citizens are eligible to apply for citizenship if they meet the criteria in accordance with the Federal Constitution and the laws of Malaysia, but the authorities do not guarantee that their applications will be successful, he added.