KUALA LUMPUR (March 23): The Home Ministry (KDN) has thus far received a total of 688 applications for citizenship for children born overseas by Malaysian mothers married to foreigners.
Its Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the number was from a total of 150,000 citizenship applications received by his ministry to date.
“We are sure that there are still people out there, but they have yet to submit the applications... this matter is under Article 15 (2) of citizenship applications for children born overseas.
“We have segmented the applications and out of the 150,000 and it turns out that the higher category involves stateless children or children born out of wedlock,” he said during a question and answer session at the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (March 23).
He said this in his reply to a supplementary question from Datuk Mumtaz Md Nawi (PN-Tumpat) who wanted to know the number of applications received involving mothers applying for citizenship for children born overseas.
Answering another supplementary question from Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (Warisan-Semporna) regarding the government's efforts to resolve the issue of stateless children in rural areas, Saifuddin Nasution said the ministry had set up a special committee team to go to the areas to assist with the citizenship application process.
He said the Home Ministry also aims to finalise the 948 citizenship applications received in Sarawak before June this year.
In his reply to the original question from Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong (BN-Ayer Hitam) about when the amendment to the Federal Constitution can be made regarding the citizenship of children born overseas by Malaysian mothers married to foreigners, Saifuddin Nasution said it is expected to be tabled in September.
“The Cabinet has agreed on the establishment of a technical committee chaired by the secretary-general of the Home Ministry and consisting of committee members.
“At the same time, this committee has held various internal discussions and we expect that they will need six months, which means that in September this year, we will be able to table it... I am optimistic that we will be able to complete it according to schedule,” he said.
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