PBB Women Movement supports federal govt’s plan to amend Constitution so that mothers can pass citizenship to children

Fatimah (seated centre) with PBB women treasurer Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali (on her right) and PBB women deputy Datin Sri Angelina Ujang and other dignitaries at the press conference in Kuching on Sept 28, 2021.

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KUCHING, Sept 28: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB)’s Women wing fully supports the federal government’s plan to amend the Federal Constitution so that all Malaysian mothers will be able to confer their citizenship to their children born abroad.

Its chief Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah was referring to Home Minister Dato Seri Hamzah Zainudin’s announcement in the Dewan Rakyat on Sept 22, 2021 who said his ministry will bring up the matter so that a new policy can be formulated by the government to amend the Constitution.

However, he noted that such an amendment requires the approval of the Council of Malay Rulers in line with Article 159(5) of the Federal Constitution.

“The PBB Women Movement is fully supportive of the federal government’s decision (to amend the Constitution),” she said at a press conference after the PBB Women’s meeting here today.

At the same time, Fatimah conveyed that PBB Women welcomes the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s ruling on Sept 9 allowing Malaysian mothers to confer their citizenship to their children who are born abroad.

The Court ruled that the children born abroad are entitled to Malaysian citizenship by operation of law and are automatically recognised as citizens without the need to make any application.

“We are glad to learn that the High Court in this case made the decision to uphold the principles of justice and fairness towards women and the principles of gender equality.

“For decades, Malaysian mothers with children born abroad were denied such fundamental rights as a mother’s own ability to confer onto her own children her citizenship. Hence, we trust that this decision served as a sweet victory for the women involved,” she said.

Fatimah who is also the State Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister further mentioned that the Court’s ruling is in line with Malaysia’s commitment enshrined under international conventions such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (Cedaw) to uphold gender equality and the principle of non-discrimination against women of which Malaysia is a signatory thereto.

“Certain archaic laws including certain provisions in the Federal Constitution which are not gender sensitive will need to be amended so as to eliminate gender discrimination and we trust this will be done,” she added.

Malaysia’s citizenship law gives fathers the automatic right to confer citizenship to their children born abroad but the same right is not given to mothers. — DayakDaily