Recommendations

RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE GOVERNMENT OF MALAYSIA:

1)Amend the Federal Constitution to eliminate internal inconsistencies which allow discrimination based on gender, despite this being prohibited under Article 8(1) and 8(2); specifically:

Issue Recommendation for amendment in the constitution Recommended draft amendment for federal constitution
1. Inability for Malaysian women to confer citizenship on their children born overseas on an equal basis as Malaysian men Amend Article 14 and the related Schedule of the Federal Constitution to ensure that the children of Malaysian mothers born overseas have the right to citizenship by operation of the law on an equal basis as the children of Malaysia fathers Clauses 1(b) and (c) of Article 14(1)(b) of Part II of the Second Schedule of the Constitution to include that persons born on or after Malaysia Day are citizens by operation of law, that is to say:

 

(b) “every person born outside the Federation whose father parents one at least is at the time of the birth a citizen and either was born in the Federation or is at the time of the birth in the service of the Federation or of a State;” and

 

(c) “every person born outside the Federation whose father parents one at least is at the time of the birth a citizen and whose birth is, within one year of its occurrence or within such longer period as the Federal Government may in any particular case allow, registered at a consulate of the Federation or, if it occurs in Brunei or in a territory prescribed for this purpose by order of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, registered with the Federal Government”

2. Inability for Malaysian women to confer citizenship on their foreign spouses on an equal basis as Malaysian men Amend Article 15 of the Federal Constitution to recognize the equal rights of women with regard to the acquisition of citizenship status of their non-citizen spouses and ensure that all foreign spouses of Malaysian citizens are entitled to be registered as citizens after two years of residence in Malaysia 15(1):  “Subject to Article 18, any married woman person whose husband spouse is a citizen is entitled, upon making application to the Federal Government, to be registered as a citizen if the marriage was subsisting and the spouse a citizen at the beginning of October 1962, or if the person satisfied the Federal Government –

a)     that she has resided in the Federation throughout the two years preceding the date of the application and intends to do so permanently; and

b)    that she is of good character”

3. Inability for Malaysian men to confer citizenship to their children born outside a legally recognised marriage Repeal Clause 17 of Part III of the Second Schedule Repeal Clause 17 of Part III of the Second Schedule that states , “For the purposes of Part III of this Constitution references to a person’s father or to his parents, or to one of his parents, are in relation to a person who is illegitimate to be construed as references to his mother, and accordingly section 19 of this Schedule shall not apply to such as person”.

 

2) Withdraw Malaysia’s reservations to CEDAW Article 9(2) and CRC Article 7.

3) Drawing on these, collectively uphold the rights of all Malaysian citizens to confer nationality on their children on an equal basis, regardless of gender, marital status and the child’s place of birth, thereby granting citizenship to children when: a) Either parent is Malaysian; b) Notwithstanding the marital status of the parent; and c) Regardless of whether they are born in Malaysia or outside Malaysia