Objectives

Malaysia is one of only:

  1. 25 countries that denies Malaysian women the right to confer nationality on their children on an equal basis as Malaysian men
  2. 3 countries that prevents men from conferring nationality on children born out of a legally recognized marriage
  3. 50 countries that denies women the right to confer nationality on foreign spouses on an equal basis with men

The Malaysian Campaign for Equal Citizenship will be advocating for the following:

I) Malaysian women to obtain equal rights to confer citizenship on their children when born overseas

Current provisions in the Federal Constitution of Malaysia allows the conferral of Malaysian citizenship to a child born outside Malaysia only if the father of the child is Malaysian. This denies the conferral of citizenship from a Malaysian mother to her child born overseas. In contrast to Malaysian fathers having a fairly streamlined process lasting only a few days to confer his citizenship through Article 14 and “Form D”, Malaysian women have to rely on Article 15(2) and “Form B”, which is often accompanied with delays and rejection and roughly a period of two or more years just to receive an answer on the status of application


II) Malaysian women to obtain equal rights to confer citizenship on their foreign husband

Malaysian men with foreign wives may confer their Malaysian citizenship by registration (while the marriage subsists), if she has stayed in Malaysia for two years as a permanent resident. In contrast, foreign spouses of Malaysian women are required to seek citizenship through naturalisation under Article 19(3) which requires 10 years of residence in Malaysia with a permanent residence.


III) Malaysian men to obtain equal rights to confer citizenship on their children who were born out of a legally recognised marriage

According to Malaysian law , a father is not allowed to confer his citizenship to a child born out of wedlock and the child would derive the citizenship of the mother with a registration as Bukan Warganegara (non-citizen) . This applies even if the mother is stateless or untraceable, leaving the child stateless despite the child being born in Malaysia to a Malaysian father. This is because according to Section 17 of Part III of the Second Schedule of the Federal Constitution, the term “parents” refers to the mother in the case of an illegitimate child.