Selangor Pas expresses bewilderment over withdrawal of citizenship amendment

Pas urges government to stand firm on citizenship changes for abandoned babies

27 Mar 2024 02:29pm
Zurk Ahmad. - FILE PIX
Zurk Ahmad. - FILE PIX

SHAH ALAM - Pas is urging the government to hold firm on its proposed changes to the citizenship process for abandoned babies.

The government recently withdrew its proposal to amend a provision under the Federal Constitution, which currently grants automatic citizenship to abandoned children found on Malaysian soil.

This backtrack has raised concerns from Pas, particularly regarding the rationale behind the decision.

Selangor Pas Information Chief Zurk Ahmad exressed his bewilderment over the withdrawal.

He highlighted the meticulous registration process proposed by the Home Ministry as a solution to streamline citizenship procedures and ensure accountability.

"Previously, the government had suggested amending the citizenship process for abandoned babies, requiring registration instead of automatic citizenship.

“Under the existing law, abandoned babies are automatically eligible for citizenship if certain conditions are met, including confirmation of birth and residency of the mother.

“However, this proposal has now been unexpectedly dropped,” he said in a statement today.

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Zurk raised doubts about the rationale behind the government's decision, particularly given the comprehensive briefings provided to parliamentarians by the Home Ministry.

Recently, the government announced that it will drop two out of five controversial proposed amendments to the citizenship law which affect foundlings.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said this was following various engagement sessions with party whips, party heads, agencies, legal experts and other stakeholders.

The two proposed amendments that will be dropped were Section 19B Part III of the Second Schedule and Section 1(e) Part II of Second Schedule of the Federal Constitution.

This meant that these two current clauses will remain.

Section 19B is about how foundlings and abandoned children could become citizens by operation of law while Section 1(e) states that anyone born in Malaysia and not a citizen of any other country automatically becomes a Malaysian citizen.