Parliamentary special committee suggests equal citizenship

The revocation is in line with the govt’s efforts to protect and preserve the rights of men and women, and guaranteeing the child’s right to self-identity


THE Parliament’s Special Select Committee on Women, Children Affairs and Social Development has recommended for the initial interpretation that the citizenship of a child is given solely based on the father’s citizenship, to be revoked.

Last week, the government filed a notice of appeal against the High Court’s landmark ruling that allowed children born overseas to Malaysian mothers to be entitled to citizenship by operation of law.

The High Court made the decision on Sept 9 following a civil suit by six Malaysian women and the family support group, Family Frontier in December which challenged certain provisions of the Federal Constitution, describing it as discriminatory.

The revocation, according to the committee, is in line with the government’s efforts to protect and preserve the rights of men and women, and guaranteeing the child’s right to self-identity.

“This mission will ignite again the spirit of the Keluarga Malaysia that is in line with the government’s policy of ‘no one is left behind’,” it added.

The committee held a meeting on Sept 15, chaired by Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (picture).

It was attended by Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff, its former Deputy Minister Hannah Yeoh and representatives from related government agencies.

In addition, the committee also demanded the government’s attention to review the provisions accordingly in regard to the effort in increasing staffing and operations Women and Children Sexual Investigation Division Investigation Department Crime, Royal Malaysia Police (D11).

It called for the addition of D11 operation employees in states and districts to handle cases involving sexual offences and abuse against women and children.

“The government is urged to extend The Sexual Offences Court against Children to each state in ensuring the effort brings significant impact.

“It is necessary to establish a comprehensive and efficient Children’s Commission Act to guarantee welfare protection among children,” the committee said.

In addition to that, it added that the commission should be an independent body and not subject to any ministry, department and government agency that focuses on specified jurisdiction to protect the rights and children’s welfare in Malaysia.