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By Brad Rantayy
MIRI, Sept 11: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) applauded the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s decision that children born overseas to Malaysian mothers and foreign fathers are automatically entitled to Malaysian citizenship.
SUPP secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew described it as a momentous decision by the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
“Although Second Schedule, Part 2, Section 1(b) of the Federal Constitution says that every person born outside Malaysia to a Malaysian father be conferred as citizen of Malaysia, it was right for judge Datuk Akhtar Tahir to point out that the word ‘father’ should also be read together with Article 8 of the Federal Constitution that protects gender equality for all citizens,” he told reporters today.
Ting who is also Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak, said SUPP is fully agree with the Judge that the word ‘father’ should also mean ‘mother’ so that it is consistent with Article 8.
With this decision, he said, children born abroad are entitled to Malaysian citizenship as long as either parent is a Malaysian at that point of time and at the same time restoring the right of mothers.
“We must continue to stress and reiterate that Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the land and each of its Article and Clauses cannot be interpreted in isolation, if such interpretation does not find logic, justice, fairness, equality or simply lack of ordinary common sense,” he added.
He asserted it has to be interpreted as a whole with other related provision or provisions governing the same matter so as to provide consistency, a sense of fairness, and more importantly to assure and reassure all Malaysians are equal under the Federal Constitution.
“We salute the Judge for making such an impeccable and right decision or judgment which is extremely important as our country is moving slowly but surely towards a more egalitarian society. No country can be at peace without equality and fairness,” he explained.
He emphasised all Malaysians must, sincerely, continue to work hard to ensure that there is no discrimination against citizen in terms of religion, race, descent, place of birth or gender.
“We know and appreciate that this is still very challenging but we must not and never give up to build a nation for all Malaysians.
“We fervently hope that Federal Government will not appeal to higher courts of this momentous decision so it can continue to stand and be a guiding judgment for all future cases of children born abroad seeking citizenship,” he said. – DayakDaily.