Why grant footballer citizenship but not kids born to M'sians - group

Modified 5 Feb 2020, 5:18 am

A group campaigning for equal citizenship has questioned why a footballer can be granted citizenship but not children born to a Malaysian parent.

The Malaysian Campaign for Equal Citizenship, a movement led by the Foreign Spouses Support Group questioned if these children are being forgotten by the government.

"Children born overseas to Malaysian women face delays and rejections with no guarantee of approval. Many are living here, some waiting to return to Malaysia.

"Many children born out of legal marriage to Malaysian men are living in Malaysia stateless.

"These children grow up to be adults and continue to have unequal access to rights, especially to tertiary education and economic opportunities," they tweeted.

The tweet was in response to news that footballer Liridon Krasniqi from Kosovo had been granted citizenship.

Krasniqi, who currently plays for the Johor Darul Ta'zim football team, received his MyKad on Monday.

Previously the Malaysian Campaign for Equal Citizenship had mooted constitutional amendments to make citizenship more equitable.

This is as Article 14 of the Federal Constitution allows Malaysian men to pass on citizenship to their children born overseas, with approval being obtained within a month of applying for citizenship.

Meanwhile, Malaysian women with foreign spouses have to apply for their children’s citizenship under a different provision - Article 15 (2) of the Federal Constitution.

Deputy Women, Family, and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh said Putrajaya was seeking to address citizenship issues.

This includes pushing for automatic citizenship for overseas-born children of Malaysian women, as well as for DNA to be used as conclusive evidence for citizenship approval.

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