Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said that the government will soon begin the process to amend the Federal Constitution to allow Malaysian women the right to grant citizenship to their children.
The amendment would be to Part II of the Second Schedule of the Constitution.
In a Twitter post, Azalina said she, along with Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, would put forward a memorandum on the amendment to the cabinet as soon as possible.
“InsyaAllah, Saifuddin Nasution and I will, as soon as possible, submit a joint memorandum to the cabinet to propose amendments to Part II, Second Schedule of the Federal Cabinet concerning the issue of citizenship,” she wrote.
According to New Straits Times, the matter was confirmed by Azalina’s press secretary, Samantha Chong, where the amendments will be in regard to the rights of Malaysian women to grant citizenship to their children born overseas to foreign fathers.
Alhamdulillah… hari pertama mesyuarat Kabinet tahun 2023.— Azalina Othman Said (@AzalinaOthmanS) January 4, 2023
Insyallah, saya & YBM @saifnasution dalam masa terdekat akan kemukakan Memorandum Jemaah Menteri bersama ke Kabinet utk cadangan pindaan Bahagian II Jadual Ke-2 Perlembagaan Persekutuan berkaitan dgn isu kewarganegaraan.
Malaysian mothers are still facing an uphill battle
This issue came under the limelight after six mothers whose children were born under such circumstances filed legal action against the Malaysian government in 2020, demanding their children could be declared Malaysian citizenships.
On 9 September 2021,the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled in their favour, saying the word “father” in the Federal Constitution should be read as representative of both parents considering that Article 8(2) states that there should be no discrimination, including based on gender, against any Malaysian citizen.
However, the Attorney-General’s Chambers appealed the decision and on 5 August 2022, the Court of Appeal, in a 2-1 decision, overturned the High Court ruling.
The mothers and Family Frontiers then sought leave from the Federal Court to appeal the decision and on 14 December, the apex court allowed the appeal to proceed.