PETALING JAYA: The government is looking at amending the Article 14 of the Federal Constitution to allow Malaysian mothers to automatically obtain citizenship for their children born overseas.
Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh (pix) said currently only Malaysian fathers were allowed to automatically obtain Malaysian citizenship for their children born overseas, while mothers had to apply for the same purpose.
“Today, we are living in 2019, Malaysian men and women should be treated equally. That’s why we have written to the Home Ministry and the Foreign Ministry to request for this amendment to be made because many families are affected by this law.
“We have been meeting since April this year where the three ministries have been discussing the issue and thus far feedback has been positive,” she said after attending the Malaysian Citizenship Equality Campaign here today.
The campaign, organised by the Foreign Spouses Support Group, aimed at raising awareness of the effects of gender discrimination against women in the country.
According to Yeoh, the issue of citizenship was stressful, traumatising and causing problems in terms of children’s care including health and education.
She hoped that the proposed amendment to the Article 14 would receive support of many parties to provide more equitable opportunities for families and children in the country.
“We are seeking the statistics from the National Registration Department on number of applications received under this category and with this campaign I believe will fasten the speed (to amend) and we do hope that more lawmakers will be able to speak up on this.
“This is listed in the Pakatan Harapan manifesto to revisit laws that discriminate against women,” she said. — Bernama