Overseas children born to Malaysian mothers are eligible for citizenship: Malaysian court

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Following a historic judgment by the Kuala Lumpur High Court, Malaysian mothers who marry a foreigner can now immediately transfer their citizenship to their children born outside the country.
The Supreme Court decided on Thursday (Sept. 9) that Article 4(1)(b) of the federal Constitution, as well as the Second Schedule, Part II, Section 1(b), related to citizenship rights, must be interpreted in conjunction with Article 8(2), which bans gender discrimination.
Justice Akhtar Tahir of the High Court decided that the term “father” should be interpreted to encompass mothers and that their children will automatically become the citizens of Malaysia.
Justice Akhtar stated that the courts have the authority to interpret the law to maintain the federal Constitution’s spirit and ensure justice. He stated that the lawsuit does not aim to modify the policy but rather to apply current legislation to address the plaintiffs’ grievances.
“The plaintiffs’ concerns are legitimate… the prejudice is obvious,” he remarked as he read his judgment.
According to lawyer Gurdial Singh Nijar, the judgment satisfies Parliament’s objective when it revised the legislation (Article 8) in 2001 to ensure that women are not discriminated against. He added that it also protects the family structure, allowing children born abroad to Malaysian moms to become citizens by default.
According to Ms. Suri Kempe, head of support organization Family Frontiers, the verdict was a tremendous relief for afflicted moms because the ruling extended not just to the women who were directly engaged in the case as plaintiffs but also to all Malaysian mothers who were similarly impacted.

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