Possession of dual citizenship must be examined - Shafie

29 Sep 2023 05:51pm
Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal - FILE PIX
Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal - FILE PIX

KOTA KINABALU - The issue of possessing dual citizenship must be examined and refined, as the effects involve various parties including ministries, agencies and national sovereignty.

Parti Warisan (Warisan) president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal president said the first was the issue of loyalty, those with dual citizenship would not be loyal to either nation.

“Not to their country of origin and not loyal to the new nation they were applying to or placing more importance to one rather than the other.

“There may be an incident where this dual citizenship causes a loss of trust in both nations,” he said in a statement on Friday.

He said such in reference to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s response to the issue of dual citizenship raised by Malaysians in the United States during the Temu Anwar programme, when he attended the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) recently.

The Semporna Member of Parliament said the issue of loyalty is closely related to the constitution and laws in the country.

“It’s not only on a federal level, every state in Malaysia practices different laws based on their respective state governments.

“For example, the ownership of equity, assets, the right to run and own a business or if there was a violation in terms of criminal cases and such how should it be handled as the law in the state may no longer apply,” he said.

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Shafie said the second issue that must be investigated was relating to the safety of dual citizenship owners potentially being a risk for both countries.

“This is because they have the freedom to decide on having split loyalties to both countries, unless there was a certificate or agreement document that could be taken to court to be acted upon in the case of violation of the stipulated conditions.

“The third factor is legal issues for the countries involved especially when it came to elections or taxation.

“For example, there are countries that do not allow dual citizenship holders to vote in elections or hold any political office. Taxation laws may also differ between the two countries, and it will create an issue as to which country should collect the tax and such.

“At the same time there would be issues from an immigration standpoint as dual citizenship holders may be exempted from immigration laws in both countries.

“This could cause an increase in individuals entering and jeopardise job opportunities for locals,”he said.

Shafie was of the view that currently temporary visas released in most countries were sufficient to grant temporary residency permission to carry out business activities for working professionals and those looking for income.

“The sovereignty and harmony of the country is a shared responsibility for all Malaysians,” he stated.