Crime & Courts

June 25 apex court hearing on citizenship of children born abroad to M'sian mothers

KUALA LUMPUR: The Federal Court has set June 25 to hear the appeal of the Association of Family Support and Welfare Selangor and Kuala Lumpur (Family Frontiers) and six women against the Court of Appeal's decision that children born abroad to Malaysian mothers married to foreign men are not entitled to citizenship.

Senior federal counsel Liew Horng Bin said the date was fixed by deputy registrar Suhaila Haron during case management today.

When contacted, Liew said the same date has been set to hear the appeal by a woman born in India, Mahisha Sulaiha Abdul Majeed, who is seeking a declaration of Malaysian citizenship.

On Dec 14, 2022, the Federal Court granted leave for all the appellants to proceed with their appeal. In civil cases, litigants must first obtain leave before proceeding with an appeal to the Federal Court.

On Aug 5, 2022, the Court of Appeal, in a majority decision of 2-1, overturned the High Court's decision that children born to Malaysian mothers with foreign spouses are entitled to automatic Malaysian citizenship.

The Court of Appeal ruled this after allowing the appeals by the government, the Home Ministry, and the National Registration Department (NRD) director-general to set aside the High Court's decision on Sept 9, 2021.

Family Frontiers and six Malaysian women married to foreigners with children born outside the country had filed an originating summons in the High Court, seeking their children's right to Malaysian citizenship.

They also sought a court order for all relevant government agencies, including NRD, Immigration Department, and Malaysian diplomatic missions to issue citizenship documents (including passports and identity cards) to children born abroad to Malaysian women married to foreigners.

Meanwhile, in Mahisha's case, the Court of Appeal on the same day (Aug 5, 2022) dismissed her appeal against the High Court's decision in 2020 that had rejected her lawsuit seeking a declaration that she is entitled to Malaysian citizenship.

Mahisha, born in India and whose mother is a Malaysian citizen and father an Indian national, had filed an originating summons, naming the NRD, the home minister and the Malaysian government as respondents. — BERNAMA

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