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KUCHING, Sept 1: Malaysian women were promised equal rights since the formation of Malaysia and therefore, it is only right for the federal government to fix the flaw in the law to enable Malaysian mothers to confer citizenship to their children born overseas.
Highlighting this, Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Stakan Branch chairman Dato Sim Kiang Chiok is backing Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said’s call to all Members of Parliament (MPs) to support amending the Federal Constitution on the matter if and when a bill is presented.
“Women in this country are given the equal right to vote so this law is diametrically opposed to that equality that has been promised to them. The right thing to do is for the Dewan (Rakyat) to correct this erroneous piece of legislation and give that long overdue dignity to our women.
“We cannot choose our sex, our race and who we are born to. As a father, I want my daughter to have this right and I agree with YB Azalina on this matter. It is strange that citizenship can be conferred to children born overseas if the father is Malaysian and not the mother,” he said in a statement today.
Recently, Azalina said the Parliamentary Special Select Committee on women, children’s affairs and social development is keen to file a Private Member’s Bill for a constitutional amendment allowing overseas-born children to be granted citizenship through their Malaysian mothers.
However, Azalina, who chairs the committee, said she doubts the bill will “see the light of day” unless it is supported by Parliamentarians.
“It is 2022 and the fact that we are grappling with such a situation where our children become stateless and defenseless just because their mothers gave birth overseas or their fathers are foreigners is a ridiculous one,” Sim pointed out.
Sim emphasised that the constitutional amendment is important to provide protection for Malaysian women and their children.
Should this law be enacted, Sim believes that the many stateless children living in Malaysia would finally be able to get their citizenship and along with it, proper education, healthcare and other privileges they deserve.
“Justice for our women is justice for ourselves. Let’s stop being chauvinistic and technical about this matter. Give our women the fair deal we promised them before we formed Malaysia,” he added. — DayakDaily