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Changes to citizenship law to be brought to Cabinet next month
Published on: Wednesday, February 21, 2024
By: FMT, Predeep Nambiar
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Changes to citizenship law to be brought to Cabinet next month
Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said various stakeholders, including rights groups, have been consulted on the proposed amendments. (Bernama pic)
PETALING JAYA: The proposed constitutional amendments on the granting of citizenship will be presented to the Cabinet next month, says home minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

He said the proposed amendments will be deliberated on by the Cabinet on March 8 and, if approved, will be tabled before Parliament.

“Whether or not the bill is tabled in this sitting (of Parliament) will depend on the Cabinet’s decision,” he told reporters.

Previously, the Malaysian Bar described the proposed amendments as “10 steps backwards”, as they would not improve the statelessness situation.

Bar president Karen Cheah said the Bar had not been consulted on the amendments and there had been no response despite writing “two to three” letters to the home ministry.

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) also urged the government to hold further talks with stakeholders on the proposed amendments.

Saifuddin today said various stakeholders, including rights groups, had already been consulted on the proposed amendments.

“We’ve taken into consideration all input (from such groups). In this process, we have also engaged with experts in the field of constitutional law,” he said.

“We also listened to the opinions of all those who wrote to me on this matter. We have taken into account their input.”

The eight proposals included the granting of citizenship to stateless children and foundlings – infants abandoned by their parents and later cared for by others.

One of the key constitutional amendments is directed towards altering the Second Schedule, Part II, Section 1(e), which grants Malaysian citizenship to every stateless person born in Malaysia by operation of law.

It seeks to also amend the Second Schedule, Part III, Section 19(b), which pertains to granting citizenship to abandoned children.

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