Senator Lau: High Court decision to overturn citizenship status to children born overseas to be appealed in Federal Court

Senator Robert Lau

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KUCHING, Aug 6: The High Court decision to overturn citizenship status to children born overseas to Malaysian women who are married to foreign spouses is being appealed to the Federal Court for a final decision.

Senator Robert Lau in a statement today said although the Court of Appeal decision came as a disappointment, it is not the end of the road.

“It is heartening to read, even though as a consolation, in the majority decision, and supported by Datuk S. Nantha Balan, the judges made it clear that the status quo should be maintained for the six applicants in the suit pending disposal of the Federal Court decision.

“It went further to direct the National Registration Department (JPN) not to reject those applications that were not part of this lawsuit but to suspend and freeze them pending the outcome of the appeal to the Federal Court,” he said.

Yesterday (Aug 5), as reported in the media, the decision by the Court of Appeal, by a majority of 2-1 has overturn the High Court decision that allows children born overseas to Malaysian women who are married to foreign spouses to automatically become Malaysian citizens.

The decision was delivered by a three-judge bench chaired by Justice Datuk Kamaludin Md Said, Datuk Azizah Nawawi, both made the ruling after allowing the appeal by the government, Home Ministry and National Registration Department (NRD) director-general (appellants), while Justice Datuk S. Nantha Balan disagreed.

“The dissenting judgment of Justice Nantha, however, said there was a plain and apparent conflict between Article 8(2) and Article 14 (1). Art 8(2) prohibits discrimination against citizen on the ground of religion, race, descent, place of birth or gender in any law and Justice Kamaludin said only Parliament can rewrite the Constitution, not the court.

“As such, I urge the Prime Minister and the Minister in the Prime Minister Department in charge of Parliament and law to table an amendment in Parliament,” he added. — DayakDaily