On National Day (31 August), British-born footballer Lee Tuck announced the great news that he has received his Malaysian citizenship.
Taking it to Instagram, he said that he is grateful to be given Malaysian citizenship and it has been tough road for him as he has to make sacrifices for this achievement.
“I can finally and officially say I am a Malaysian citizen,” he said.
However, this did not sit well with many Malaysian mothers who were still struggling to confer citizenship to their children who are born overseas despite having waited for years.
Among them who voiced out their dissatisfaction were Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto who took to Twitter to call for the government to showcase equality in this case, by also providing citizenships to the children of these Malaysian mothers.
In the tweet, she wrote “See this Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob? See this Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin (Home Minister)? See this National Registration Department?”
See this PM @IsmailSabri60?— Kasthuri Patto (@PattoKasthuri) August 31, 2022
See this YB @dhzhamzah?
See this @jpnhqofficial?
A British footballer started playing in 🇲🇾 since 2017.
Today he is MALAYSIAN.
Wht about children born overseas to MALAYSIAN MOTHERS?
NOW DO THE SAME FOR THEM.#SayaJugaAnakMalaysia@FamilyFrontiers https://t.co/t0yAZ2YEfY
“A British footballer started playing in Malaysia since 2017. Today, he is Malaysian. What about the children born overseas to Malaysian mothers? Now, do the same for them.”
Meanwhile, other netizens also expressed similar sentiments and criticised the government for practising double standards.
“65 years of independence, there are many more who are eligible but still do not have citizenship. Just by playing football, they can immediately get citizenship. Nonsense,” a netizen lamented.
This is why I feel it’s unfair towards Malaysian mothers who can’t get citizenship for their kids! Kalau dia ni umur 25, main dlm premier league, skill macam Messi ok lah. Tua, tak pernambuco main league 1 pun.— Eddie LFC 19X🏆 (@lfc_eddie) August 31, 2022
“Malaysia is a weird country. People who deserved to get citizenship are literally fighting for their rights and then there’s this guy easily obtained the status,” another netizen said.
Lee Tuck is not the first foreigner to have obtained citizenship. Several footballers have also obtained citizenship through naturalisation in the past. This includes Gambia-born Mohamadou Sumareh, Kosovo-born Liridon Krasniqi, Brazil-born Guilherme De Paula, Australia-born Quentin Cheng, and Canada-born La’Vere Corbin-Ong.
Nonetheless, we hope that Malaysians will not harbour any ill intentions towards these footballers as it wasn’t their fault that Malaysian mothers have to suffer from this.
We hope that the Malaysian government will consider changing their stance and equally recognise the children of both Malaysian mothers and fathers as Malaysians.