Suhakam seeks royal support to prevent citizenship law changes

Suhakam seeks royal support to prevent citizenship law changes

PETALING JAYA: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) is seeking royal support to block amendments to the citizenship laws.

The commission will submit a memorandum to the Conference of Rulers on July 16, highlighting their objections to “regressive” and “cruel” amendments proposed by the government.

One of the changes proposed will automatically confer citizenship to children born overseas to Malaysian mothers, but not apply retrospectively to existing children under the same parameters.

“We want it to be retrospective,” Singapore daily The Straits Times reported Suhakam commissioner Ragunath Kesavan as saying.

Other proposed amendments will make it tougher to obtain citizenship, including lowering the age limit of childhood citizenship applications from 21 to 18 years and removing automatic citizenship for children of permanent residents born in Malaysia.

“These constitutional amendments are the most regressive amendments ever brought by any Malaysian government. They take away the rights of a child,” said Ragunath.

Under the amendments, foreign wives who obtain citizenship via marriage may also have their citizenship revoked if the marriage is dissolved within two years of them becoming Malaysians.

Ragunath said foreign wives who had their citizenship revoked were at risk of becoming stateless, as Malaysia did not permit dual citizenship.

“In the first two years of marriage, if you are abused by your husband, you cannot walk out of that relationship.

“We would like the government to reconsider the regressive proposed amendments. (They) should be carefully scrutinised and thought through. It is very important that there is maximum evaluation with stakeholders,” he said.

  • https://www.msn.com/en-my/news/national/suhakam-seeks-royal-support-to-prevent-citizenship-law-changes/ar-BB1pJnEp?ocid=00000000

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