PUTRAJAYA: Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today rubbished claims that Malaysia allowed dual citizenships since the 1980s.
He said this in responding to a report by a Malay daily that thousands of Thai citizens were allowed to have double citizenships, to enable them to leave and enter Malaysia without restrictions.
Muhyiddin explained that the Federal Constitution has never allowed dual citizenships as claimed by the news report.
“I don’t think the Federal Constitution allows dual citizenships.
“The constitution is still the same and we have not amended it (on dual citizenships) since Independence,” he told reporters after the ministry’s Excellence Awards (APC) presentation, here, today.
He also said that reports on individuals owning dual citizenships could be lodged with the National Registration Department (JPN) for investigations.
“Reports can be made by anyone, be it government agencies or individuals.
“However, the report should contain details on the individual and relevant evidence to assist JPN in its investigation," he added.
Muhyiddin said that reports without relevant proof will not make the case strong.
“Therefore, stripping of citizenship of those who possess double citizenships can’t be done.
“Investigations can’t be done based on allegations,” he added.
Explaining, Muhyiddin said the government's policy which does not allow Malaysians to hold two citizenships could see them getting stripped off their Malaysian citizenship under Article 24 (1) of the constitution.
This applies to those who hold dual citizenships due to registration, naturalisation, voluntary or formal (other than marriage).
Meanwhile, those who claim and utilise their rights or privilege given specifically such as voting rights in a foreign country, foreign passport and application of travel documents, their Malaysian citizenship will be striped under Article 24(2) for these wrongdoings.
Muhyiddin said even though it was not wrong for people to be offered citizenships due to the mentioned reasons, it becomes an offence when they fail to surrender one of their citizenships.
“It is not wrong to be given citizenship but you can’t have two at the same time, that is when you have commited a wrongdoing. You have to relinquish either one,” he added.
Earlier, a total of 252 staff from the ministry received the APC award presented by Muhyiddin.