SUPP lauds court’s ruling on citizenship

Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew

KUCHING: Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) has lauded the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s landmark decision declaring that children born abroad to Malaysian mothers with foreign spouses be automatically conferred Malaysian citizenship.

“We fervently hope that the federal government will not appeal this momentous decision so it can be a guiding judgment for all future cases of children born abroad seeking citizenship,” said SUPP secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew on Saturday (Sept 11).

“We salute the Judge for making such decision or judgment which is extremely important as our country is moving slowly but surely towards a more egalitarian society,” he added.

Ting said no country could be at peace without equality and fairness, and therefore all Malaysians must sincerely continue to work hard to ensure that there was no discrimination against citizens 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 in building a nation for all Malaysians,” he said.

He noted that although the Second Schedule, Part 2, Section 1(b) of the Federal Constitution stipulated that every person born outside Malaysia to a Malaysian father be conferred Malaysian citizenship status, 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 protected gender equality for all citizens.

Ting, who is also Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, said SUPP fully agreed with the Judge that the word ‘father’ should also mean ‘mother’ so that it was consistent with Article 8.

“With this decision, children born abroad are entitled to Malaysian citizenship as long as either parent is Malaysian at that point of time and at the same time restoring the right of mothers,” he said.